(First photo) Heather Variava, Acting Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in the Philippines (CDA), joins Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama at the launch of the BIDA KID COVID prevention campaign -19 in the Visayas.
(Second photo) CDA Variava participates in an International Women’s Day program at the American Corner in Cebu.
Cebu, March 10, 2022—On March 8, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines (CDA) Acting Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava joined Cebu City Mayor Michael L. Rama and representatives from the Department of Health and Ministry of Education to launch the BIDA KID COVID-19 prevention campaign in the Visayas.
The BIDA KID campaign reminds everyone to continue observing COVID-19 prevention measures as children return to school and people resume in-person activities. The campaign follows the BIDA Solusyon (Be the Solution) COVID-19 prevention multimedia campaign, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which reminds everyone to continue practicing key preventive behaviors COVID-19.
The US government and Cebu City government also celebrated Cebu City’s milestone of vaccinating 92% of its eligible adult population. With support from USAID, the city is continuing its efforts to achieve a similar goal for children ages 5-11.
“We are very happy to see the fruits of our partnership with your city, and we look forward to continuing to build back better together,” said CDA Variava. “We remain committed as enduring friends, partners and allies to working with all of you so that we can finally bring this pandemic to an end.”
During his first visit to Cebu, CDA Variava met with university, business and government leaders to discuss opportunities to strengthen and deepen U.S.-Filipino partnerships. She also participated in an International Women’s Day program at the American Corner of Cebu.
CDA Variava also visited a USAID-supported pediatric vaccination site at the Ayala Center mall in Cebu City and received a plaque of appreciation from Mayor Rama for the US government’s support in mitigating community outbreaks of COVID- 19 and improving the city’s vaccine rollout, including for 5-year-olds. at 11.
“With over 90% of our city’s target population fully immunized, we are celebrating the near total defeat of COVID-19 in Cebu City. In this, we are truly and deeply grateful to USAID for being a major force in making this achievement possible,” Mayor Rama said.
Assisting the Philippines in its response to COVID-19 has been a top priority of the U.S. government since the outbreak began. To date, the United States has provided more than Php1.9 billion ($39 million) to support the nation’s response to COVID-19 and accelerate vaccination of priority populations. The United States has also donated more than 33 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.
USAID supported Cebu City’s COVID-19 response by training nearly 200 barangay health emergency teams; reach more than one million people with various prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, reintegration and vaccination messages; improving 14 community isolation units that served more than 10,000 people at the height of the pandemic; and helped establish nearly 100 vaccination sites. These interventions have helped Cebu City manage the more than 53,000 cases recorded since March 2020.
Over the past 60 years, USAID has worked with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve common development goals, investing more than $5.1 billion (247.5 billion Php) to support the Philippines.