US announces additional $3 million for India's Covid-19 battle

The funds are being provided to PAHAL project: US ambassador to India

trump-1-pti [File] Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi | PTI

The US has announced an additional $3 million funding for India in its fights against Covid-19. A statement from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that the funds are being provided to the Partnerships for Affordable Healthcare Access and Longevity (PAHAL) project. 

US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster said, "This additional funding to support India in its continuing efforts to combat Covid-19 is yet another example of the strong and enduring partnership between the US and India. The funds were cleared on April 16."

Earlier on April 6, USAID had announced a $ 2.9-million global aid. According to USAID, the 2.9 million funds would be for two programmes--$2.4 million for USAID's health strengthening project, being implemented by the Johns Hopkins-affiliated NGO Jhpiego, and another $500,000 for the World Health Organisation (WHO). "The funds will help the government of India slow the spread of COVID-19, provide care for the affected, and support local communities with the tools needed to contain the disease." 

Under the PAHAL project, around 20,000 health facilities enrolled under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will get assistance.

India had, three weeks ago, cleared the export of 35.82 lakh tablets of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an anti-malaria drug that had shown some efficacy in managing Covid-19 infections, especially as a prophylactic. Just days before that, when India banned the export of important medicines, while assessing its own stocks, US President Donald Trump had blown into a rage and warned India of retaliation. But after the supplies were cleared, Trump was at his gushiest best in praising India and the leadership of Narendra Modi. "Thank you prime minister for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity in this fight," he had gushed over Twitter. He added, "Thank you India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. Will not be forgotten...'' he tweeted on April 8.