US announces additional $25 million to support India’s vaccination program


India’s vaccination program: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the donation would help save lives by strengthening vaccination chains in India.

India's vaccination program
US secretary of state Antony Blinken, left, speaks as external affairs minister S Jaishankar listens during a joint news conference.(AP)

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced an additional $ 25 million in financial assistance to the US government to fund India’s vaccination program. After diplomatic talks between the two sides, Blinken told a media briefing that the money would help save lives by intensifying antiretroviral treatment across India as the country is about to reach 2% of the total vaccinated population.
“The money will help save lives by strengthening the vaccine program, tackling false information, questioning the vaccine and helping to train more health workers,” he said.

During a joint press conference, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar welcomed Biden’s response to the anti-vaccine marketing campaign in India and thanked the US for “exceptional” assistance during the second Covid wave.
The latest funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is in addition to the more than $ 200 million Covid-19 grant announced by the US government. Blinken emphasized that the two countries were committed to ending the Covid-19 epidemic in India and the United States.

A top US strategist said the Covid-19 had hit the two countries hard and that the US would not forget the help India had given them at the start of the epidemic. “I am proud that we can bring the action back to India,” he added.
The two sides discussed a number of issues including regional security, travel challenges during the Covid-19 epidemic, and security and safety co-operation. Commenting on the Afghanistan issue, which has a major impact on regional security, Blinken said both sides were committed to the proposal that there was no military solution to the conflict.


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