CARICOM Gets Further US$2.5m In COVID-19 Assistance From USAID

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Stabroek News:– The United States Agency for International Development has announced US$2.5  million ($500m) in urgent COVID-19 assistance for countries in the Eastern Caribbean, The Bahamas, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago.

A release today from the US Embassy in Georgetown  said that the assistance will provide support for the operational costs of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, outreach activities to lower vaccine hesitancy in collaboration with local influencers and celebrities, vaccine hesitancy surveys, and equipment procurement to support the development of COVID-19 vaccine information systems, laboratory detection and storage of vaccines.

Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Mark Cullinane, announced the funding during a review of the USAID/CARICOM regional strategy on October 21, the release said.

He stated that “This review speaks to the level of importance that the United States holds CARICOM as a strategic partner in the global COVID-19 response and advancing health security in the Caribbean…the United States will work proudly alongside our regional partners, PAHO, UNICEF, CARPHA and CARICOM in efforts to mitigate and eliminate the effects of the pandemic in Guyana and the wider Caribbean.”

USAID Regional Representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Clinton. D. White, noted that “the new funding will also respond to urgent gaps in COVID-19 case management such as procuring oxygen, laboratory equipment, and other critical items to help reduce deaths from COVID-19 in Caribbean countries.”

CARICOM Secretary General Dr. Carla Barnett, voiced appreciation for this aid, particularly on behalf of those CARICOM those Member States who would benefit, noting that “no Member State has been spared from this deadly virus and its devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of their citizens and their respective economies”.
She anticipated that the aid will assist the Member States “to intensify their logistical arrangements and communications to further support vaccine readiness while countering vaccine hesitancy and disinformation, which we anticipate will increase the numbers of persons vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus”.
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This additional aid from the  American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 builds on the previous COVID-19 support provided to Caribbean countries.

USAID has provided nearly US$63 million in COVID-19 assistance to the Caribbean, including nearly US$7.45 million specifically to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, since the beginning of the pandemic to address the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts of COVID-19.

The release said that USAID’s COVID-19 assistance to Caribbean countries, coordinated through CARPHA, is helping to deliver vaccines and get shots in arms, expand access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, protect and train health workers, deliver life-saving health commodities and equipment, share reliable public health information, and safeguard global health security.

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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