The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is committing an additional $330,000 to the COVID-19 response effort in North Macedonia through a direct grant to the Red Cross of North Macedonia.
USAID’s $330,000 grant to the Red Cross builds upon the U.S. Government’s $1.1 million commitment to North Macedonia to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The grant will help some of the most vulnerable segments of society whose daily lives have been upended by the virus, including the elderly, those with disabilities, single-parent and low-income families, and those that live in close quarters. The Red Cross will distribute 4,200 food kits, 4,200 hygiene kits, 3,000 disinfection kits, and1,000 baby kits over the next three months.
USAID will also assist the Red Cross to increase the reach of its social and mental health services, which are available to all members of the public. The Red Cross will train volunteers in each of its 33 local chapters to assist anyone who is dealing with stress or other social challenges during this challenging time.
“On behalf of the United States, I am honored that we can partner with the Red Cross to provide robust assistance to vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19,” said U.S. Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes. “These efforts of the Red Cross represent ‘solidarity at its best,’ as President Pendarovski said recently. I am heartened that the United States can stand in solidarity with the Red Cross and others as they collectively respond to COVID-19.”
Red Cross Secretary General Sait Saiti welcomed this new partnership with USAID to support the important work its volunteers are doing responding to COVID-19.” With USAID’s assistance “we will strengthen our support to volunteers by providing them additional psycho-social services and enhanced protection from exposure to the virus,” he commented. “Equally important to us and our volunteers will be expanded psychosocial programs for citizens and food and hygiene assistance to community members who lost their jobs as a result of the economic crises caused by COVID-19, as well as those dependent on financial assistance, people with special needs, single parents, older and frail people, and the homeless. The Red Cross will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy to identify and reach those most in need at this time.”
Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested more than $738 million in total assistance for North Macedonia, including nearly $11.5 million in health assistance.
For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health.
Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance.
Because an infectious-disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19.
For more information about USAID’s response to COVID-19, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus-covid-19