UK gives US$3.8m for COVID-19 response in CaribbeanSunday, May 24, 2020
THE United Kingdom has agreed to contribute three million pounds (US$3.8m) to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help eight countries of the Caribbean – Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines – contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and mitigate its impact.
The financial contribution from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) is in addition to the USD$9.9m already provided by the UK Government via the World Health Organization (WHO) allocations to support PAHO's response strategy to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean, as outlined in its donor appeal. The funds from DFID will assist Caribbean countries to access critical medical equipment and other urgent supplies for the immediate health response to COVID-19.
The objective of the six-month project is to help save lives and reduce human-to-human transmission of the virus, including secondary infections in health care settings, through reorganisation of health services and the implementation of infection prevention and control measures. It also aims to ensure early detection of COVID-19 cases by strengthening existing surveillance systems and scaling up laboratory capacity. Part of the strategy will also improve the communication of clear and transparent public health information about risks and protective measures to populations on the islands.
The donation from the UK Government will also contribute to the UN's multi-sectoral response plan for the eastern Caribbean, launched on April 30, 2020, which aims to support countries in the eastern Caribbean to scale up their respective national actions in response to COVID-19 through a multidimensional approach.
With funds from DFID, PAHO will support a coherent public health response that addresses the most pressing needs of the benefiting countries, and ensure strong coordination and management as well as information-sharing arrangements with other UN and regional/bilateral agencies to maximise impact and eliminate potential duplication.
PAHO, as the specialised health agency in the Americas, and the regional office of WHO are providing critical leadership, coordination and assistance to fight the spread of COVID-19, save lives, and protect the most vulnerable peoples in all 52 countries and territories of the Americas.
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