U.S. Embassy Partners with the Government of Turkmenistan in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Ashgabat, April 6, 2020 – The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, with the cooperation of the Government of Turkmenistan, has assisted dozens of U.S. citizens in Turkmenistan in returning to the United States.

On March 28, the U.S. Embassy facilitated the repatriation of U.S. citizens from Turkmenistan to Washington, DC, via a charter flight. The flight took place as part of a global effort by the U.S. Department of State to assist American citizens worldwide to return home, which has repatriated more than 43,100 U.S. citizens aboard more than 360 flights from 78 countries since January 29, 2020.

“I am so proud of our team here at the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat as they work hard to protect U.S. citizens and partner with Turkmenistan to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan Matthew S. Klimow. “We sincerely appreciate the administrative and logistical support of the Government of Turkmenistan, including His Excellency President Berdimuhamedov, Foreign Minister Meredov, Deputy Foreign Minister Matiyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Hajiyev, and our many colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who made the safe repatriation of U.S. citizens possible.  Our nations stand together in responding to this unprecedented global challenge.”

In addition to supporting U.S. citizens, the United States remains a committed partner of Turkmenistan as it takes steps to protect itself against the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States has made available more than $920,000 in health assistance for Turkmenistan to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has invested approximately $21 million in healthcare, and more than $201 million in total assistance to Turkmenistan over the past 20 years.

Worldwide, the United States are providing an initial investment of nearly $274 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help countries in need, on top of the funding the United States already provides to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of bilateral assistance in public health. Since 2009, American taxpayers have generously made available more than $100 billion dollars in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally. This generosity is underscored by our contributions to several crucial multilateral partners, which includes:

  • U.S. contributions to WHO in 2019, which exceeded $400 million, almost double the 2nd largest member state contribution.
  • U.S. support to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) of nearly $1.7 billion contributed in 2019. This support will be critical going forward, as refugee populations are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • U.S. contributions to the UN Children’s Fund in 2019 totaled more than $700 million. The life-saving activities UNICEF has been doing for years — such as immunization campaigns and health and sanitation training and assistance — will save lives as we fight this dangerous pathogen.

For more information on U.S. assistance, please visit https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-is-leading-the-humanitarian-and-health-assistance-response-to-covid-19/ and https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus.  For media inquiries specific to Turkmenistan, please contact the U.S. Embassy press office at USEmbassy-Ashgabat-PAS@state.gov.