Statement by Ambassador Hushek
Hello, This is Tom Hushek speaking to you from the U.S. Embassy in Juba.
In this difficult time where our entire global community is affected by COVID-19, we recognize the importance of collective and coordinated action to combat this pandemic.
Self-quarantine, as recommended by both the U.S. and South Sudan governments for those who have traveled through higher-risk areas, is one of many actions people can take to help limit the potential spread of COVID-19. Those of our staff that have recently returned to South Sudan – including our USAID Mission Director – are following those recommendations.
Other important steps include staying home if you are sick, practicing social distancing, limiting physical contact, and of course frequent hand washing. In partnership with the government and citizens of South Sudan, we are taking action to ensure the health and safety of our mission staff and our partners.
We recognize that this is a disease that does not recognize borders and we must all work together to strengthen prevention. The U.S. government is taking extraordinary steps to help prevent the spread of the disease around the world. Since February 7, the U.S. government announced $100 million from USAID’s Emergency Reserve Fund to address the COVID 19 pandemic. These funds will be used for critical interventions in developing countries affected or at high-risk for the COVID 19 outbreak, including South Sudan.
The United States is the global leader in public health assistance with $9.5 billion appropriated in 2019 to support international public health and more than $100 billion committed over the last 20 years to support public health on the African continent. Together, we will get through this global challenge!
For U.S. citizens in South Sudan updated guidance from the State Dept. will be sent through MASCOT messages if you are registered with the U.S. Embassy. If you are not yet registered, please visit www.travel.state.gov and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (also known as STEP).
For up-to-date information about COVID-19 and actions you can take to protect yourself and others from transmission, please visit our website at ss.usembassy.gov. There you will find links to reliable sources of information, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
I encourage you to stay informed and to follow recommendations from health professionals to protect yourself and those around you.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this pandemic. I am also confident that by working together, our global community will triumph over this disease.