PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Contributions to IAEA to Combat COVID-19 Reach $11 Million

U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna 

Vienna, Austria 

April 14, 2020  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

U.S. Contributions to IAEA to Combat COVID-19 Reach $11 Million  

 

The United States is allocating an additional $5 million in voluntary contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to combat the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, bringing total U.S. contributions to the Agency’s efforts to fight the disease to $11 million.    

“U.S. support of the IAEA’s efforts is part of a much larger U.S. public health and humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is further proof of the generosity of the American people,” said U.S. Permanent Representative to the IAEA in Vienna, Ambassador Jackie Wolcott.  “The ability of the IAEA to respond so quickly to requests for assistance, as it has done in cases of previous infectious disease outbreaks, is a testament to the professionalism and efficiency of the IAEA and proof of the value that peaceful nuclear technologies bring to the world.” 

The United States was among the first countries to respond to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s announcement on March 10 that Member States had requested IAEA support in combatting the COVID-19 outbreak, quickly allocating an initial $1 million, followed by another $5 million, to support the IAEA’s provision of testing kits and biosafety equipment to countries in need.  Fifty-two countries have already been identified by the Agencyand are beginning to receive kits and equipment funded by the United States under the two initial U.S. allocations.  The latest allocation will help the IAEA meet many more requests for assistance fromMember States in battling the COVID-19 outbreak.  This technical cooperation project to battle COVID-19 is the largest in the IAEA’s history in terms of beneficiary Member States and funding. 

The IAEA’s role in combatting COVID-19 stems from its expertise and experience in detecting outbreaks of certain viral diseases and in using nuclear-derived techniques in diagnosing them.  One such technique is the real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)—a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen, including a virus—which makes it possible to identify the SARS-CoV2 virus within hours.  The United States is proud to support this important peaceful use of nuclear technology to combat the global challenge of diagnosing and containing COVID-19.   

More information is available on the IAEA’s website, www.iaea.org.    

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