Britain providing funds to help Caribbean address COVID-19 impact


Ronald Jackson of CDEMA

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The British government says it is providing £5 million in support to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Caribbean.

It said that this support includes £3 million to the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) for the provision of essential medical supplies and management support to help public health systems around the region combat the virus.

A further £2 million will be used to scale up assistance for the most vulnerable households, and to help counter domestic violence against women and children,

“The UK government is committed to supporting our Caribbean friends and partners through this crisis.  We all face unprecedented challenges with COVID-19, and UK assistance is supporting vulnerable health systems in the Caribbean and across the world – to save lives, protect vital services and reduce the risk of future waves of infection globally,” said UK Minister for the Caribbean, Baroness Liz Sugg.

“In addition to our multi-million funding to UN agencies and the WHO that benefits the Caribbean, this direct regional support will help Caribbean countries to cope with the coronavirus crisis, mitigate the wider social and economic impacts and protect the most vulnerable.  The UK stands with you in these difficult times.”

As part of its wider response to COVID-19 in the region, the UK is also reallocating resources from its £400 million development programme to help tackle the crisis and support countries that are most at risk. The UK is providing support to the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Regional Response Mechanism (RRM).

It said this includes COVID-19 modelling and surveillance products for participating states being developed by University of the West Indies (UWI), through the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre.

The British government said it will continue to work with existing partners that are well placed to coordinate the regional and international response to the disease and help reduce the negative impacts on the economies and people of the region.