Additional US$5.2m in COVID-19 assistance from USA

Jamaica is to receive an additional US$5.2 million in COVID-19 assistance from the American Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The US$5.2 million in funding will advance vaccination and strengthen health systems to diagnose, manage, and mitigate COVID-19 transmission. Importantly, this funding will help Jamaica deliver safe and effective vaccines by filling critical gaps to support Jamaica’s achievement of a 65 per cent vaccination rate by March 2022,” a news release from the US Embassy in Jamaica yesterday quotes Chargé d’ Affaires John McIntyre.

According to the embassy, the additional assistance from the historic American Rescue Plan builds on the more than US$10 million in COVID-19 assistance the US Government has donated to the Government and people of Jamaica since the novel coronavirus pandemic first broke out last year March.

The embassy pointed out that, in the last year, through a multi-agency approach, the US Government’s support includes, to date, 208,260 Pfizer vaccine doses, a donation of a field hospital, and a host of medical supplies supporting the island’s health, education, and security sectors.

“This assistance comes at a critical time to accelerate the COVID-19 fight and respond to crises exacerbated by the pandemic. USAID not only stands ready, but will continue to support the Government and people of Jamaica to help bolster the health systems against future threats,” the release quotes Jason Fraser, USAID/Jamaica country representative.

These efforts, the embassy pointed out, build on decades of life-saving work and US leadership in tackling global health crises.

Over the past 60 years, USAID has saved millions of lives from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Zika, and now COVID-19.

Noting that diseases know no borders, the embassy said the US is committed to partnering with Jamaica to end the pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts, and build back a world that is even better prepared for future outbreaks.