Jakarta: USAID Principal Officer to ASEAN Ryan Washburn and Secretary General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi today signed the first ever Regional Development Cooperation Agreement between the USAID and the ASEAN.
The agreement was signed at the ASEAN Secretariat on the sidelines of the ASEAN–US Ministerial Meeting.
The signing of this agreement serves as a significant milestone for US-ASEAN cooperation spanning over 40 years.
It also reflects a long-term strategic partnership to promote peace, democracy, and prosperity in the Southeast Asia Region.
“This new five-year agreement between USAID and ASEAN, with a value of up to $50 million, underscores the U.S. commitment to regional development, to ASEAN Centrality, and the shared goals of regional integration and rules-based governance to promote peace, security and prosperity in ASEAN,” Washburn said in a press release on Thursday.
“In short, USAID cooperation under this agreement will advance the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the ASEAN-U.S. Plan of Action (2021-2025)," he stated.
USAID will continue to support ASEAN to address regional and global challenges such as the covid-19 pandemic, human trafficking and forced labor, access to the digital economy, and coordinated responses to natural disasters.
As part of the agreement’s focus to build upon ASEAN’s capacity to effectively address regional and global challenges, USAID and ASEAN will launch a new joint initiative to mitigate impacts of the covid-19 pandemic and increase future preparedness through the ASEAN Public Health Emergency Coordination System (APHECS).
APHECS will integrate existing disparate coordination mechanisms in the region under one cohesive institutional platform.
As a result of this initiative, for the first time, ASEAN Member States and other stakeholders will have a regional framework to guide coordination and communication in public health emergencies.
Building upon decades of collaboration, this new Regional Development Cooperation Agreement, extensively enhances USAID’s partnership with ASEAN to advance a peaceful, secure, and prosperous ASEAN region, and a free and open Indo-Pacific.