U.S. Increases Global COVID-19 Contribution; CDC Responds in the Caribbean

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced on April 21 more than US$270 million in additional foreign assistance to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This new funding will provide approximately US$170 million in humanitarian aid to allow communities in some of the most at-risk countries to prepare for and respond to the pandemic. At the same time, the United States is providing more than US$100 million to help governments, civil society, and the private sector prepare for, mitigate, and address the economic, security, and governance impacts of COVID-19. The announcement brings the total global investment from the U.S. Government since the outbreak of COVID-19 to more than US$775 million to date in health, humanitarian, and economic assistance – specifically aimed at fighting the pandemic in more than 100 countries in every region of the world, including Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its Caribbean Regional Office in Kingston, Jamaica, is providing US$3 million to Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to boost its capacity to support countries of the Eastern Caribbean. The nearly US$1 million for CARPHA and the Eastern Caribbean, including $400,000 for Barbados, will fund infection prevention, laboratory systems and supplies including testing kits and swabs, and staffing and data management at quarantine and isolation facilities. The CDC will work with the individual Ministries of Health as well as regional partners including CARPHA and PAHO for the immediate implementation of this critical support.

This CDC support is part of the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership, a collaborative and multinational effort to build regional capacity to confront disaster response and promote resilience. The CDC, U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. Department of Defense are working together as part of an All-of-America response to support healthcare, humanitarian assistance, and economic, security, and stabilization efforts worldwide.