The United Kingdom has agreed to contribute 3 million Pounds (USD $3.8 m) to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help eight countries of the Caribbean – Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint 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 healthcare settings, through re-organization 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 30 April 2020, and which aims to support countries in the Eastern Caribbean to scale-up their respective national actions to respond to COVID-19 through a multi-dimensional approach.