ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke with the President of United States Donald Trump on Saturday to discuss efforts to contain COVID-19 in the East African nation.
“Encouraging phone call with Donald Trump reconfirming continued US-Ethiopia relations,” said Prime Minister Abiy. “Appreciate the commitment of support to #COVID19 prevention and mitigation efforts as well as on desert locust control”.
Ethiopia has so far reported 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by coronavirus.
Officials believe while cases in the worst affected parts of the world are stable, most countries including Ethiopia are still in the early stages.
The government is currently increasing its response capacity but the country is still in need of key medical equipment including ventilators.
“His (Abiy’s) Country needs Ventilators,” Trump wrote his Twitter page after the phone call. “The U.S. is in good position to help him. We will!”
The United States is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $150 million per year in funding for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Overall, the United States has provided approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years, according to its embassy here.