The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Rural Access to New Opportunities in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (RANO WASH) project, has donated equipment and supplies to the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene to support Madagascar’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
USAID provided the ministry with 60 disinfectant sprayers, 400 handwashing devices, 34 cartons of soap, and 60 twenty-liter containers. These supplies will be used to improve sanitation and hygiene in six regions of the country – Alaotra Mangoro, Amoron’i Mania, Atsinanana, Haute Matsiatra, Vakinankaratra, and Vatovavy Fitovinany.
This support is part of a series of donations in response to COVID-19 from USAID to the Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene through the RANO WASH project, and is the latest iteration of the U.S. government’s ongoing collaboration with the Government of Madagascar. The two countries are working together like “mpirahalahy mianala” to ensure the health and protection of the Malagasy people from COVID-19.
To end the global pandemic, the United States is taking bold action, as the largest contributor to COVAX and by committing billions of dollars to more than 120 countries. In Madagascar alone, the United States recently donated 302,750 Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses in addition to our ongoing support for the shipment of COVAX vaccines, donated “head-to-toe” personal protective equipment to front line health care workers in 13 regions of Madagascar hard hit by COVID-19, contributed $5 million to the Tosika Fameno cash transfer program that ensured vulnerable families in the most affected cities had enough to eat, and provided $2.5 million in emergency funding to support the Government of Madagascar’s COVID-19 response.
Speaking on the occasion, Voahary Rakotovelomanantsoa, Minister of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, stated that the materials would be critical in limiting COVID-19 cases.
RANO WASH is USAID’s largest water and sanitation project in Madagascar. Over a five-year period, USAID is investing $30 million to improve access to water for hundreds of thousands of people in 250 rural communes in six regions of Madagascar that face chronic shortages of drinking water. In 2020, USAID’s assistance to Madagascar totaled $133.5 million, including $74.5 million for the health sector, where the United States is the largest single-country donor.