USAID's partners are instrumental to every part of the Agency's work. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that vital coordination even clearer, as local organizations have worked together with USAID to provide life-saving vaccines and to stabilize hard-hit communities.
The article below highlights a few of the many ways USAID has relied on its local partners in Asia to advance shared development goals during the pandemic.
The full article was originally posted on Medium.com/USAID-2030.
Partnering to End COVID-19
Lessons from USAID and Asia’s local heroes
By Tiffany Tupper, USAID's Bureau for Asia COVID-19 Communications Officer, and Samantha Martin, USAID's Bureau for Asia Speechwriter
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 1 million people in Asia. To make things worse, nearly 5 million families in Southeast Asia alone fell back into poverty and over 9 million people faced unemployment due to the pandemic.
Amid these challenges, USAID’s local partners are more important than ever to saving lives and helping communities get back on their feet.
Since the pandemic began, our partners in Asia have been at the forefront to provide immediate assistance to stop the virus’s spread, distribute life-saving vaccines, and support small businesses to reopen. Today, USAID partners have supported the distribution of nearly 550 million U.S. Government-donated COVID-19 vaccines and helped communities regain economic losses.
This is how USAID and our partners foster COVID-19 response and recovery throughout Asia.
Innovative Outreach Campaigns
In Kyrgyzstan, Elina Karakulova, director of USAID partner Internews’s national office, said that at the start of the pandemic, the explosion of disinformation, rumors, and fake news led to information distrust, making it difficult to introduce COVID-19 prevention methods.
“Internews has been fighting fake news since the beginning of the pandemic,” Elina said. “We united five newsrooms to do fact checking…and briefed media partners on how to talk to groups [about virus prevention],” with a focus on children, youth, and older adults.
Internews created a television series about the pandemic and used social media—including partnerships with influencers—to reach audiences in Uzbek, Russian, and Kyrgyz languages. According to Internews, users engaged with this reliable content more than 1.5 million times—the equivalent of engaging every third internet user in the country. Videos were broadcast on more than 20 popular and trusted TV channels, delivering credible COVID-19 information to 97 percent of Kyrgyz TV viewers.
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