The United States announced USD 25 million assistance to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts across India.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a two-day visit to India, said that the funding will contribute to saving lives by strengthening vaccine supply chain logistics, addressing misinformation, vaccine hesitancy, and helping to train more health care workers.
“US has contributed more than 200 million dollars worth of COVID19 assistance. I am pleased to announce that the United States government will send additional 25 million dollars to support vaccination efforts across India,” Blinken announced during a joint press conference with his External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
“This funding will contribute to saving a life by strengthening vaccine supply chain logistics, addressing misinformation, vaccine hesitancy and helping to train more health care workers. We are determined to end this pandemic in India and the United States. We will work to do it,” he added.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic hit both the US and India very hard, Blinken said: “We remember with gratitude and will not forget the aid and assistance India provided to us early in the pandemic. I am proud we could return the gesture to India.”
Jaishankar said India has acknowledged the US efforts to keep the vaccine raw material supply chain open.
“We discussed the need for global availability of affordable vaccines. We hope the US would take a sympathetic view of Indian travellers,” Jaishankar said adding that they will continue to work together on vaccine availability and production.
Jaishankar and Blinken discussed a wide range of issues including Afghanistan during the meeting.
“India and US share a strong interest in peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan. As a credible partner in the region, India has and will continue to make a vital contribution to Afghanistan’s stability and development,” Blinken said.
He assured that the US and India will continue to work together to sustain the gains of the Afghan people. “We will continue to work together to sustain the gains of the Afghan people and support regional stability after the withdrawal of coalition forces from the country (Afghanistan),” he said.