US President Biden plans to announce new initiatives worth USD 102 million to expand the US-ASEAN Strategic Partnership during the October 26 US-ASEAN Summit, the White House announced.
A White House statement said that reflecting the Biden-Harris Administration’s deep commitment to ASEAN’s central role in the US vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“The United States is committed to leading the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States intends to provide up to USD 40 million in new efforts to accelerate joint research, strengthen health system capacity, and develop the next generation of human capital in health through the US-ASEAN Health Futures initiative,” the statement said.
According to the White House, these efforts build on the more than $3.5 billion the United States has invested in supporting public health in ASEAN over the past 20 years. “The Health futures initiative will both help address the current pandemic and strengthen ASEAN’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to future zoonotic and other infectious disease outbreaks.”
The United States intends to provide up to USD 20.5 million for a new U.S.-ASEAN Climate Futures initiative dedicated to tackling the climate crisis and keeping the urgent goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach, statement said.
On the economic front, the White House said that Biden Administration continues efforts to promote economic growth and opportunity and build back better from the economic damage wrought from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United States plans to provide USD 10 million in new loans and the intent to provide up to an additional USD 10 million in new funding to support U.S.-ASEAN cooperation on trade and innovation,” it added.