Barbados is now better prepared to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the United States Military Liaison Office (USMLO).
The USMLO, as part of its Humanitarian Assistance Programme initiative, recently donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Department of Emergency Management. The PPE, which was secured at a cost of US$15,000, includes face shields, hazmat suits, protective goggles, surgical masks and gloves.
In presenting the PPE, Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché, Commander Steven Charnon, said: “Ensuring our partners are well prepared to respond to any disaster that threatens the well-being of their citizens is a top priority for the U.S.
“This donation will ensure our partners are able to continue their fight against COVID-19, while also being prepared for any disasters on the horizon.”
Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds, acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic had placed an unprecedented strain on Barbados’ emergency management, health and other societal systems.
“We continue to be cognizant of the fact that partnerships with regional and international actors are integral in supporting our operational readiness and response to crises, emergencies and disasters that may affect us.
“On behalf of the Government of Barbados, we at the Department of Emergency Management are pleased to accept the generous donation of personnel protective equipment which will certainly augment the current stock used by first responders and frontline workers in the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Ms. Hinds stated.
The PPE, acquired through the U.S. military’s Humanitarian Assistance Programme (HAP), is one part of the broader U.S. objective to ensure regional partners are prepared for any disaster or humanitarian response they may face.
The programme provides disaster response agencies, like DEM, access to U.S. funds for equipment and infrastructure, as well as other programmes with the intent of increasing regional resiliency.
This PPE delivery is part of nearly US$3 million in COVID-19 response assistance to the Eastern Caribbean from the U.S. Government.
It supports the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership, a collaborative effort to build regional capacity to confront disaster response and promote strong communities.