The US State Department reported this Friday that it had signed a cooperation agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) in order to ensure greater transparency and accountability in government procurement of medical products.
An official statement from the government of Joe Biden explained that the pact contains the signature of the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, and the undersecretary of the Department of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, José W. Fernández.
“This agreement aims to counter corruption in public procurement of medical products creating a panel of experts from countries in the Western Hemisphere who, on a voluntary basis, will conduct audits of government procurement and provide assistance on anti-corruption best practices that help save lives,” the statement said.
The US government stated that the signing of this cooperation agreement “represents another critical step in the concerted effort to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.”
At the IX Summit of the Americas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Undersecretary Fernández presented the Economic and Health Dialogue of the Americas (Economic and Health DialogueEHA) together with seven countries in the region that make up the coalition, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the OAS.
The EHA aims to respond to the multidisciplinary issues highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing together ministers of health, economics, finance, and foreign affairs within and between countries in the Western Hemisphere.
“We are promoting joint efforts with the OAS within the framework of the EHA. The signing of the cooperation agreement today is an important part of a regional health framework aimed at ensuring greater transparency and strengthening the health systems of our hemisphere”concluded the statement from the US State Department.
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