The Government of Canada will contribute $ 7.5- million dollars to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in response to COVID-19 in 23 countries of the Americas, says a news release from PAHO.
The contribution will benefit 15 Caribbean countries – Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago – and eight countries in Central and South America – Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and Paraguay.
The news release notes that the collaboration will primarily support increased access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies to assist countries in their efforts to save lives and limit the human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 diseases, focusing on populations experiencing marginalization or vulnerability, including health care workers.
Stating that “the COVID-19 virus knows no borders,” Canada’s Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, noted that ” cooperation with international partners such as PAHO has been key to fighting this global pandemic and minimizing its impact on health systems. Canada recognizes the essential role that PAHO plays in responding to health challenges and emergencies in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Canada’s contribution comes in addition to a previous allocation of $1.5- million made to PAHO earlier this year to support the overall regional response to COVID-19,.
PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne said,“we are grateful to the Government of Canada for its contribution to the Pan American response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
“This outbreak has caused large upheavals in the health systems of our region, and our countries need all the support they can get. Canadian backing for health protection measures in the Caribbean, Central and South America will help their health workers deal more effectively with these challenges.”
Dr. Etienne and Minister Gould met recently to further discuss ” how to address the immediate needs and impact of the pandemic in the Region of the Americas,” the news release states.