The United States on Friday (Thursday night in Washington, D.C.) announced that it will provide an additional $11.3 million (approximately P562 million) in additional COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan gave this assurance to visiting Philippine officials led by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during their meeting in Washington, D.C.
“On COVID-19, we are pleased to announce that the United States will provide an additional $11.3 million in COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines, bringing total U.S. assistance to the Philippines since the start of the pandemic to $37 million, in addition to the 6 million U.S. vaccine doses donated and delivered to the Philippines through COVAX,” US National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement.
As of last week, the Philippines has received more than 13.4 million vaccine doses through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a global initiative run by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The United States is the largest monetary contributor to Gavi, having already provided nearly P200 billion ($4 billion) to the Alliance.
Locsin and Lorenzana are currently in Washington, D.C. attending the 70th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Their talks with US officials are anchored on opportunities to further strengthen the alliance between the two countries. The Philippines is the US’ oldest treaty ally in the region.
The US security advisor also commended the Philippines for generously hosting Afghan refugees.
Both sides also discussed US support for the Philippines’ ongoing response to COVID-19, ongoing cooperation on counterterrorism, and the importance of respect for human rights.
Sullivan discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and the US efforts to revitalize its alliances.
The American official underscored the US’ enduring commitment to Southeast Asia and reiterated its support for ASEAN centrality and tackled regional issues such as freedom of navigation in the seas and the military coup in Myanmar.