Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali this week proposed that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) should develop its capacity to produce vaccines for Covid-19 and other illnesses.
According to Guyana’s Department of Public Information (DPI), in invited comments, Ali recalled the difficulties faced by the Region in acquiring Covid-19 vaccines and underscored the importance of putting systems in place to ensure a different outcome in the future.
He was among regional leaders attending the 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The Guyanese President said that CARICOM should follow the direction of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
CELAC decided to examine the prospect of building capacity to manufacture vaccines.
“I think as a Region, as CARICOM, we must send a signal to the private sector and development agencies through a collective discussion that we are also going to pursue this path of building the capacity,” the DPI quoted him as saying.
He added that Covid-19 vaccines are among the doses the Region can produce, and Guyana is ready to play its part.
“I want to really put on the table, the idea of us sending a stern signal that we are willing as a region to work towards this direction. Guyana is willing to support and willing to provide the foundation.”
President Ali noted that vaccine manufacturers India and China have already expressed their interest in participating in the process, the DPI reported.
“It is for us to send the signal and we must make that decision, ” he declared.
The President said that since the Caribbean Development Bank was present at the Heads of Government meeting, they should be asked to examine the financial and social viability of developing the Region’s capacity.
The Region, he explained, must be proactive about the future of its people.
In addition, he endorsed the development of a regional strategy to deal with the pandemic, asserting that such a strategy would help mitigate financial and social risks.