Last updated April 16, 2021
As the world has mobilized to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for humanitarian and economic assistance to address its immediate impacts has continued to grow. The U.S. government, alongside our allies and partners, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and foundations have stepped up to the plate and contributed significant funding to tackle the pandemic and its repercussions.
- Over the past year, Congress has appropriated a total of $17.47 billion in emergency COVID-19 funding for the State Department and USAID, including for diplomatic programs, global health, international disaster assistance, refugee assistance, and economic and stability programs. These investments represent 0.34% of all COVID-19 relief funding appropriated by Congress to date.
- On March 6, 2020, the first emergency supplemental passed by Congress included $1.25 billion for the State Department and USAID to support the global response to COVID-19.
- Congress provided $1.12 billion in additional funding to support the global response to COVID-19 as part of a $2.3 trillion supplemental funding bill approved on March 27, 2020.
- Congress provided an additional $4.3 billion in emergency resources, predominantly to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support global vaccine distribution, as part of a $900 billion supplemental funding bill attached to the end of year spending package on December 27, 2020.
- Congress passed an additional $1.9 trillion emergency relief package on March 11, 2021, which included $10.8 billion in supplemental resources for the International Affairs Budget.
For additional details on the policy provisions in each of the supplementals, see the USGLC’s Budget Updates on Supplemental I, Supplemental III, FY21 Omnibus, and Supplemental VI.
U.S. Investments in Diplomacy and Development for the Global Response
America’s development and diplomacy programs are playing a critical role in combatting the global pandemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the State Department and USAID have committed over $1.6 billion in emergency assistance for over 120 of the most at-risk countries facing the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, working to combat the health, humanitarian, economic, and development impacts of the virus around the world. U.S. assistance has protected healthcare facilities and provided ventilators to our allies and partners, supported laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacities, and responded to second-order impacts of the pandemic such as surging hunger and poverty.
Specific programs supported by emergency COVID-19 funding appropriated by Congress include:
- Global Health Programs ($9.09 billion): Including $4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and $3.5 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and not less than $200 million for the Emergency Reserve Fund, to provide urgently needed treatments, equipment, personnel, and testing to save lives and contain the spread of COVID-19 while also protecting hard-fought gains against ongoing epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
- International Disaster Assistance ($3.648 billion): To support USAID’s disaster response capabilities in countries impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including critical support for “rehabilitation, and reconstruction, for health activities, and to meet emergency food security needs.”
- Economic Stabilization ($1.18 billion): To address economic, security, and stabilization needs in COVID-19 affected countries.
- Migration and Refugee Assistance ($850 million): To help prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable refugee populations around the world.
- Diplomatic Programs ($792 million): To maintain consular operations around the world, reimburse the costs of evacuating personnel and dependents, and provide for emergency preparedness needs.
- Multilateral Assistance ($580 million): To support efforts by international partners – including the World Health Organization and UNICEF – to address the devastating humanitarian crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- USAID Operations ($136 million): To support frontline personnel, maintain facilities, and provide for emergency preparedness needs related to COVID-19.
- USAID Office of the Inspector General ($1 million): To conduct oversight of activities related to the coronavirus response.
- Peace Corps ($88 million): To support the evacuation and resettlement of Peace Corps volunteers and workers.
- Consular and Border Security Programs ($300 Million): To support offsetting losses of fees and surcharges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Food for Peace ($800 million): To tackle the rising tides of global hunger and food insecurity, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global and Multilateral Institutions
- The United Nations launched a $10.3 billion campaign to combat coronavirus in 60 of the world’s most vulnerable nations to support testing and laboratory equipment, installing handwashing resources, and developing transportation hubs to efficiently move humanitarian workers and supplies.
- The UN humanitarian appeal for 2021 is $35 billion to support 235 million people around the world. This is a 40% increase from 2020, a reflection of the severe and ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to support vulnerable people “in their darkest hour of need,” according to UN Secretary General Guterres.
- The World Bank is providing $160 billion in financing – the largest response in the Bank’s history – to help 100 developing countries respond to the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19. This funding includes $50 billion through the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), and $12 billion for vaccine purchase and distribution. Of the 100 countries supported, 39 are in Sub-Saharan Africa and nearly one-third of the total projects are in fragile and conflict-affected situations. “To return to growth, our goal must be rapid, flexible responses to tackle the health emergency, provide cash and other expandable support to protect the poor, maintain the private sector, and strengthen economic resilience and recovery,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the World Bank’s private sector arm – announced $22 billion in long-term finance in 2020 to help sustain economies and preserve jobs in the most vulnerable countries around the world.
- The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) launched a $6.5 billion facility to help support businesses and preserve jobs and livelihoods in emerging markets and developing countries.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that it is mobilizing its $1 trillion lending capacity to support developing countries, stating, “the case for a coordinated and synchronized global fiscal stimulus is becoming stronger by the hour.” The IMF doubled its emergency lending capacity to $100 billion and has supported 85 countries so far. To address the rising level of debt, IMF also approved immediate debt relief to 29 low-income countries, totaling nearly $500 million.
Private Philanthropy and Foundations
- The COVID-19 Solidarity Fund has raised more than $246 million for the $675 million appeal by the World Health Organization for coronavirus preparedness and response efforts. The fund is being co-managed by the United Nations Foundation.
- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced $300 million in commitments for the global response and the development of treatments.
- The Rockefeller Foundation has committed $100 million to strengthen global pandemic preparedness and support vulnerable communities, and announced an additional $1 billion investment over the next three years to address the pandemic’s global repercussions and development setbacks.
- Bloomberg Philanthropies has pledged $40 million towards slowing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries around the globe.
- Open Societies Foundation committed $200 million to the global response to COVID-19, supporting vulnerable communities and humanitarian response, as well as access to accurate public health information.
- The David and Lucille Packard Foundation provided more than $20 million in emergency grants to respond to the pandemic, including supporting the global response and disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and girls.