The United States – Leading Collective Action in Global Health Security

FACT SHEET

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON

NOVEMBER 19, 2020

The Fact Sheet below was released in conjunction with the United States Government’s participation in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial Meetings hosted by Government of Thailand on November 18-20, 2020:

The United States – Leading Collective Action in Global Health Security

“Now is the time to solve this global pandemic and work to take down risks to Americans and people all across the world.” – Secretary Michael R. Pompeo

For over 50 years the United States has been the largest contributor to global health security and humanitarian assistance.  The United States has worked for decades to improve global capacity to contain outbreaks at their source and minimize their impact, and we will remain a leader, partner, and advocate on this issue.  We have made sustained engagements in global health security a cornerstone of our national security policy, including investing over $1 billion since 2014 to support bilateral work with partner nations under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).  In recognition of the November 18-20 GHSA Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Government of Thailand, the United States continues to highlight the critical importance of GHSA work in responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic and addressing preparedness in the future.

GHSA was first launched in 2014 and re-affirmed in 2018 by the United States and other member countries; and it remains a premier model of transparent and accountable global engagement, seeking to achieve a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberately released.  In addition to setting bold targets and providing a forum for information sharing, GHSA leverages host government and donor partner investments to build country-level capacity to prevent, detect, and respond rapidly and effectively to outbreaks.  As one of 69 GHSA member countries, the United States remains a committed leader—currently investing $428 million to strengthen and sustain partner country preparedness in support of GHSA targets and goals.  As part of this commitment, the United States works with 19 partner countries in an intensive fashion—as well as with other nations in a more targeted manner — to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats at their source.

The United States supports the GHSA 2024 target through bilateral partner country investments and multilateral efforts that seek to unify the world’s approach to global health security.  The GHSA 2024 Initiative Target aims for more than 100 countries to complete an evaluation of health security capacity and demonstrate improvements in at least five technical areas that positively impact their preparedness by 2024. 

As outlined in the United States Global Health Security Strategy, the Administration strongly supports GHSA as a mechanism to accelerate progress toward effectively addressing infectious disease threats.  We are committed to advancing the full implementation of the International Health Regulations at the country level by collaborating across borders and sectors.  Importantly, our partnerships through GHSA have and continue to build foundations to prepare for and respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic and help countries more broadly address infectious disease threats.  These successes include: 

Across regions:

  • U.S. government investments have supported technical assistance in the implementation and development of molecular assays to detect emerging respiratory viruses at the human-animal interface. These efforts support capacity building that detects animal-to-human transmission of viruses like influenza and coronaviruses.
  • Risk communication programs, active in many U.S. GHSA partner countries, support national health communication programs to disseminate appropriate public health messages to the general population and specialized messages to health care workers.
  • U.S. government investments have strengthened public and veterinary health laboratories in more than 15 countries across Asia and Africa, helping to improve the detection and response to deadly zoonotic diseases (which spillover from animals to people) such as rabies, anthrax, Ebola, as well as novel viruses such as COVID-19.
  • The U.S. government-supported One Health Workforce project in partnership with One Health university networks in Africa and Southeast Asia supports workforce development in 58 universities across nine GHSA Intensive Support countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.
  • U.S. government GHSA investments have built on a decade of investments in influenza surveillance globally, by also strengthening the capacity of Asian and African countries to routinely detect and rapidly respond to influenza outbreaks. This capacity has buttressed the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System that is the frontline of global influenza preparedness and response, which is now helping address the present COVID-19 pandemic.
  • U.S. government investments in workforce development have contributed to the development of a cadre of trained public and animal health professionals ready to mobilize quickly at the sign of an outbreak. Within GHSA partner countries, graduates of workforce development programs are helping contain outbreaks at their source.
  • The United States has collaborated with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on health for decades, working tightly with the DRC Ministry of Health and others to strengthen local health systems to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases at their source. We were the DRC’s principal partner in ending its 2018-2020 devastating Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC—the second largest in world history and first-ever in an active conflict zone. Despite substantial risk of cross-border transmission from the DRC to neighboring Uganda, the Ugandan government swiftly identified and contained imported Ebola cases with U.S. government partnership and support.  When the DRC announced a new Ebola outbreak on June 1, 2020, the United States quickly deployed health experts to help contain the outbreak and work with neighboring countries to enhance preparedness efforts for potential cross-border spread.  Graduates from the U.S.-supported Field Epidemiology Training Program played an integral role in the national response and case investigations.

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 Read more about our 2019 GHSA Annual Report here.