In response to the high demand for personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical supplies due to COVID-19, the United States has donated more than US$104,000 worth of PPE and other medical supplies for seven Eastern Caribbean countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
“This donation is one of several programs and initiatives the U.S. has provided to support our neighbors in the Eastern Caribbean,” said U.S. Coast Guard Commander and Senior U.S. Embassy Defense Official Steve Charnon. “Coordinating these donations to help combat COVID-19 was a true team effort and reflects the enduring partnership between the U.S. and the Eastern Caribbean, as well as regional organizations such as CDEMA and the Regional Security System.”
The donation was made possible by the U.S. Embassy’s Military Liaison Office (USMLO), and is part of the larger U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program.
Through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM), the CDEMA Regional Coordination Center (RCC) facilitated the procurement of the PPEs and the distribution to the countries.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our region has been felt far and wide, affecting our social, physical, mental and economic well-being. The unprecedented nature of this pandemic requires collaborative efforts between our region and its partners to respond effectively to the needs of our Participating States,” said Elizabeth Riley, executive director (ag) of CDEMA.
“This intervention, delivered through the Logistics and Procurement Cell of the Regional Coordination Centre, a component of our indigenous Regional Response Mechanism, addresses urgent needs in the beneficiary states. On behalf of the CDEMA System, I would like to express our thanks to the USMLO – US Embassy Barbados for its support to the region’s ongoing management of the COVID-19 impact,” said Riley.
The supplies, which were acquired through a supplier in Trinidad and Tobago, include 1,000 surgical masks, 500 face shields, 250 protective goggles, 1,200 latex gloves, 1,000 shoe covers, 10 gallons of hand sanitizers and 87 hazmat suits.
These will be packaged for each country and issued to the National Disaster Offices for national-level distribution, targeting those who are on the front line and are highly exposed, including essential services personnel and security forces.
Transportation and distribution of the supplies to each country are being facilitated by the Regional Security System. Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines facilitated the procurement of the medical supplies from suppliers on their respective islands.