An official website of the United States government

The United States Government Provides Funds for COVID-19 Diagnostic Kits for the Dominican Republic
April 6, 2020

Dominican Republic is in the first tranche of countries to receive COVID-19 test kits funded by the United States

Santo Domingo, D.N. – The United States will be providing, via the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 2,000 COVID-19 tests to the Dominican Republic that use a nuclear-derived testing technique and can produce results in a matter of hours.  IAEA member states, including the Dominican Republic, requested kits and other donations from the IAEA. The U.S. has mobilized $6 million for the IAEA project to provide training and procure COVID-19 diagnosis and biosafety equipment for member states requesting support.

“The Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Dominican Republic is deeply grateful to both the IAEA and the United States Government, who provided the funds for this important donation, where our country has been included, for the procurement of 2,000 RT-PCR detection kits for the detection of COVID-19. We also recognize the effort made by the Vice-Ministry of Nuclear Energy to ensure the flow of assistance,” said Ministry of Energy and Mines Minister Antonio Isa Conde.

Dominican Republic is in the first tranche of countries to receive COVID-19 test kits funded by the United States.

“We are pleased that our assistance will be able to support the Dominican Republic during this pandemic,” said Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Shane Myers.  “We continue to be a strong partner of the Dominican Republic, especially in the area of health.  The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, via agencies like USAID and the CDC, have invested for years in the capacity-building, materials, and training of the health sector in order to be better prepared to combat pandemics.”

In response to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s announcement that member states in regions around the world had requested support in combatting the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States quickly mobilized to allocate funding as part of the Trump administration’s commitment to building global health security capacity for this and future outbreaks. U.S. funding will benefit more than sixty countries that have requested IAEA support in responding to COVID-19.

The IAEA’s role in combatting COVID-19 stems from its expertise and experience in detecting outbreaks of certain viral diseases and in using nuclear-derived techniques in diagnosing them. One such technique is Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), which makes it possible to identify the COVID-19 virus within hours. U.S. funding to the IAEA will support the provision of testing kits that include an RT-PCR diagnostic system (which detects the presence of genetic material from the virus to confirm whether a patient has been infected) and relevant biosafety equipment, including cabinets and hoods.

Since 2009, the United States has funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance globally.  The United States continues to be the single largest health and humanitarian donor for both long-term development and capacity building efforts with partners, and emergency response efforts in the face of recurrent crises.  This money has saved lives, protected people who are most vulnerable to disease, built health institutions, and promoted the stability of communities and nations.

The IAEA works closely with the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and other key partners to assess the current level of knowledge about COVID-19, identify gaps, and work to accelerate and fund priority research.

More information on the IAEA’s support to countries in the detection of COVID-19 is available on the Agency’s website, www.iaea.org.

More information on the Dominican Republic donation from the IAEA can be found here: https://mem.gob.do/sala-informativa/noticias/mem-logra-donacion-de-un-termociclador-2000-kits-y-materiales-para-deteccion-del-covid-19/