The United States on Wednesday announced an aid of $25 million (Rs 186.32 crore) to assist India’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. US’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement during his day-long visit to India.
The financial assistance is provided under the United States Agency International Development, or USAID, an official release said. USAID will partner with the health ministry and state governments. The money will be used to support vaccine supply chain logistics, address misinformation and vaccine hesitancy, and train healthcare workers in India.
The USAID said that it has allocated more than $226 million (about Rs 1,670 crore) as Covid-19 relief to India since March 2020.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who held a meeting with Blinken on Wednesday afternoon, acknowledged efforts by the US to keep supply chains open for raw materials needed to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines, ANI reported.
In June, the United States had lifted the imposition of its Defense Production Act, which allowed supply of raw materials from the country for vaccines manufactured by pharmaceutical firms AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sanofi. The Act was invoked in February giving powers to the US administration to control the distribution of products for a “short term”. The US wanted to boost vaccine production in the country.