May 3, 2020
(Ambassador Eisenberg to Radio Rai1: Audio file)
On March 30, President Donald Trump announced a robust assistance package to the beautiful country of Italy worth up to 100 million dollars. The assistance would have two goals: to help Italy fight the pandemic and to help boost global trade.
As part of the President’s aid package, the United States Agency for International Development, known as USAID, is providing 30 million dollars to support, supplement, and expand the work of civil society and nongovernmental groups.
I am pleased to announce USAID has finalized an agreement through Croce Rossa Italia to implement a portion of this assistance.
USAID is also allocating 10 million dollars to provide essential health commodities to the Italian healthcare system. Another 10 million dollars is dedicated to help Italian businesses do research, develop, or manufacture therapeutics, vaccines, and medical equipment and supplies to combat COVID-19.
That 50 million dollars is a portion of the overall assistance package to be complemented by significantly valuable work by our U.S. military to enhance its assistance to Italy in the form of supplies, logistics, and telemedicine. U.S. health agencies will increase their already significant collaboration with Italian counterparts. This action – coupled with U.S. assistance to scores of countries worldwide – will help lessen the spread of this terrible disease.
The United States has been a world leader in public health for a very long time – dedicating more than 140 billion dollars for global health initiatives in the past two decades. America’s response to this crisis is no different.
We are a proud, free, and democratic society. Our government’s effort is bolstered also by the generosity of our many private businesses. With the help of the American Chamber of Commerce, 50 U.S. companies have donated nearly 35 million euros to help combat this pandemic.
The relationship between Italy and the United States is special. It is built on shared history, values, and culture. That will never change. We could not be any closer in our feelings and, especially at this time of crisis, we will work and help each other to make sure we defeat this enemy.