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U.S. Provides Additional Assistance to Thailand to Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019

The United States Government announced nearly $2 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand U.S. support for Thailand in response to the global spread of COVID-19. This support builds upon ongoing USAID and other U.S. Government investments in health development, particularly those aimed at building the capacity to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases. Specifically, $700,000 will be implemented through the World Health Organization (WHO), $329,000 through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and $800,000 through the Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) project, which collectively contribute to the U.S. Government’s Global Health Security Strategy.

“This new assistance is yet another example of the strong and enduring partnership between the United States and the Royal Thai Governments,” said U.S. Ambassador Michael George DeSombre. “Over more than 60 years of cooperation on health programs through USAID, the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medicinal Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States works with Thailand to safeguard the health of American, Thai and international communities."

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Development Mission for Asia Mission Director Peter A. Malnak handed over personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Public Health in Nonthaburi today as part of the United States’ assistance to Thailand to respond to novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, China. This assistance package comes at the request of the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

On March 9, 2020, U.S. officials donated masks, gloves, goggles, and other essential PPE to authorities at the Thai Ministry of Public Health. The equipment includes 10,000 gloves, 5,000 surgical masks, 5,000 surgical gowns, 5,000 respirator masks, 5,000 shoe covers, 5,100 surgical caps, 2,500 face shields, and 500 protective goggles. The Royal Thai Government will distribute this equipment to health clinics in areas in greatest need of the supplies.

“Today’s handover of personal protective equipment is another example of the strong partnership between the United States and the Royal Thai Government, whose collaboration in addressing emerging disease threats spans decades,” said Mission Director Malnak. “These critical supplies from the American people will help support medical professionals and health workers as Thailand responds to COVID-19.”

“This is a lesson to strengthen our public health system not only in Thailand but also worldwide,” remarked Dr. Tanarak Plipat, Deputy Director General, Department of Disease Control of the Ministry of Public Health. "We are taking this opportunity to express our appreciation to the American people for supporting personal protective equipment which helps Thai health care professionals for COVID-19 response.”

“More than two hundred years of friendship between Thailand and the United States is best demonstrated by actions rather than words,” said Dr. Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, the Director General of the Department of Disease Control at Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health. “Our partnership in addressing COVID-19 reflects these two centuries of friendship.”

In addition to emergency assistance, the United States works in close partnership with the Royal Thai Government on a range of programs to combat infectious diseases in the region. For example, USAID continues to build on more than a decade of support in the campaign against avian influenza, emerging infectious diseases, and through its Global Health Security program.

Quote of the Day:
“Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.”

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