U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome joined the Minister of Health Faouzi Mehdi today for the launch of the $5 million USD SAHA project. In partnership with CIPE, the SAHA project supports the Ministry’s efforts to improve the management of public hospitals, strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain and provide training opportunities to Tunisian health professionals across the country. This Tunisia-U.S. partnership exemplifies our joint response to the pandemic; over the last year, the U.S. government has provided more than $36 million in COVID support, which illustrates our commitment to long-term investments in Tunisia’s health sector. The event also highlighted the Embassy’s partnership with Les Grandes Ecoles de la Communication to ensure good governance in the health sector and to counter fake news during the pandemic..
I would like to thank the Minister of Health Faouzi Mehdi for inviting me today; I am proud to participate in this ceremony to celebrate the U.S. Embassy’s partnership with the Ministry of Health on three projects totaling over $5 million for the benefit of the Tunisian people.
The “SAHA” project is designed to help ensure the transparent and efficient use of healthcare resources for the Tunisian people. It will do this through improved management of public hospitals and the creation of an improved tracking system for the pharmaceutical supply chain. The training of Ministry staff will in best practices in these fields will benefit the Tunisian health care system for years.
Another importance component of this program is ensuring the Tunisian people are provided with accurate health sector information. We are working with GEC to give ministry officials and influential social media users the tools communicate transparent and timely information to the public, and counter misinformation, which is just as important in today’s world. The program will also direct Tunisians to accurate and current sources of information on COVID-19 and other health related issues.
We continue our other efforts to help Tunisia fight Covid. For example, we have provided sanitation and hygiene supplies to every school in Tunisia, keeping students safe and schools open. We have also provided access to loans and grants to thousands of Tunisian small business throughout the country to help them survive the pandemic’s impact.
Finally , the United States has pledged USD 4 billion to provide World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries, including Tunisia. Tunisia will receive 4.3 million doses of vaccine in the coming months under this program. As the single largest donor to COVAX, we are demonstrating our commitment to ensuring equitable vaccine access across the world.
The United States believes in Tunisian democracy and the Tunisian people. We will continue to support efforts to increase efficiency and transparency in the health sector and beyond.