The first consignment of urgent medical supplies from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is scheduled to arrive here this week to help Bangladesh battle its latest Covid-19 surge.
As part of its ongoing emergency assistance to countries in South Asia, the US government through the USAID on Saturday airlifted urgent medical supplies to help Bangladesh.
The US Air Force C-17 flight departed from Travis Air Force Base in California for Dhaka, Bangladesh carrying over 2 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect thousands of health care workers in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Ambassador to USA M Shahidul Islam visited Travis Air Base to see the consignment.
"The generous support by the US government will greatly strengthen Bangladesh's capacity to fight against Covid-19 pandemic," he tweeted.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, "I deeply value our partnership with Bangladesh, and I hope this support is a testament to our robust and growing ties."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was among the first donors of Covid-19 support in Bangladesh.
"As we dispatch an airlift of urgent medical supplies, we proudly reflect on five decades of health partnership and collaboration with the government and people of Bangladesh," he tweeted.
As one of the first and largest donors to Bangladesh's Covid-19 response efforts, the US government has contributed over $80 million in new and existing resources in assistance to date.
This assistance, which includes the delivery of ventilators, supports the country's capacity to test and diagnose the virus, increases prevention and control practices, strengthens supply chain and logistics management systems, enhances risk communications to counter misinformation, and ensures the effective roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines, said USAID.
The United States said it stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Bangladesh as they combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We congratulate Bangladesh on marking 50 years of independence in 2021 and are proud to celebrate the 50th year of US-Bangladesh relations in 2022. The United States has provided more than $1 billion in health assistance over the last 20 years to Bangladesh," said the USAID in a media release.
USAID's long-standing partnership with Bangladesh demonstrates the United States' commitment to ensuring access to quality, lifesaving health services for all Bangladeshis, it said.
The latest announcement builds on USAID's ongoing efforts to help India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka battle the latest deadly surge of Covid-19 cases and further demonstrates the United States' whole-of-government, global response to ensure lifesaving assistance reaches people who need it quickly.
USAID is coordinating additional shipments to South Asia in the coming weeks.