Jamaica has received US$1 million from the United Nations (UN) to boost the country’s response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of health and social services.
The support was provided under the UN’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), through which 47 countries across the globe have been earmarked for assistance in enhancing services to crucial and vulnerable populations.
It was launched by the UN Secretary-General to support low- and middle-income programme countries in overcoming the health and development crises caused by the pandemic. The Fund’s assistance targets those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption.
UN Resident Coordinator, Mariko Kagoshima, who handed over a cheque to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, on Wednesday (May 27), outlined that US$600,000 of the support to Jamaica will go towards enhancing social protection mechanisms for women and children as well as the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
She said the remaining US$400,000 will go to the health sector “to support efforts to suppress the transmission of COVID-19, while continuing the provision of basic health services, such as maternal and newborn health, among others”.
Johnson Smith, in her remarks during the brief handover ceremony held at the Ministry’s New Kingston office in St. Andrew, said that Jamaica is pleased to accept the funds.
She noted that the UN’s special response mechanism is an “excellent undertaking” in its response to “this unparalleled” health crisis.
She pointed out that the UN Secretary-General established the MPTF to help countries to more effectively respond to the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring that the actions of the UN head have been strong, prompt, integrated and decisive.
“We must commend the UN for the speed and the efficacy of its response to submissions from the many States that presented priority lists for funding. Jamaica is able to allocate the funds to specific needs and priorities that we have established,” Senator Johnson Smith said.
She noted that the UN support will serve to address some of the most “pressing needs of people” while calling for a collaborative approach among nations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.