UK pledges millions to Caribbean’s virus fight

UK Minister for the Caribbean, Baroness Sugg
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The Caribbean’s fight against Covid-19 has received a multi-million dollar boost from the British government.

The UK is providing £3 million (US$3.73 million) to the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) for essential medical supplies and additional support, plus a further £2 million (US$2.48 million) 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,” said UK Minister for the Caribbean Baroness Sugg.

“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.

“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,” she added.

As part of its wider response to the coronavirus in the region, the UK is also reallocating resources from its US$500 million development programme to help tackle the crisis and support countries that are most at risk.

The UK is providing support to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Regional Response Mechanism, which includes Covid-19 modelling and surveillance products for participating states being developed by the University of the West Indies.

Britain has also pledged almost one million US dollars to global efforts to curtail the virus’s spread, including efforts to find a vaccine.

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