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International Partnerships

EU supports the Caribbean’s fight against COVID-19

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Nearly €1 billion was made available to our partners in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of the global response to support partner countries’ efforts to tackle COVID-19.

In the Caribbean, the EU, in partnership with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has mobilised a total amount of € 8 million to cater for the countries’ most urgent needs in managing the fight against COVID-19. Protection material is needed along with test reagents, lab material, additional staff and a specific allocation (€ 3 million) for treatment and vaccines.

The project will help increase the region’s capacity to detect, monitor and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in a coordinated way. Thanks to this, the region will strengthen public education and behavioural change in order to deal with the current situation and face the challenges that lie ahead.

Computers and smartphones to help deaf and blind people in Guyana

The Deaf Association of Guyana and the Guyana Society for the Blind were the beneficiaries of an urgent donation of personal computers and smartphones. These devices will go a long way in solidifying their communication needs, especially during this period, where movement and regular daily activities are restricted.

St Lucia Minister of Health Hon. Mary Isaac and Head EU Cooperation visiting the Owen King hospital
St Lucia Minister of Health, Hon. Mary Isaac and Head of Cooperation Luis Maia - credit: Janet Wayne

Accelerating the opening of a new hospital in St. Lucia

The Owen King European Hospital, a medical facility that stands at the centre of St Lucia’s health care system, has benefitted from € 45 million of EU money to build and run the hospital.

With the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus threatening St. Lucia’s economic, social, health and overall well-being, the government decided, on the 20th of March 2020, to accelerate the full transition from the Victoria Hospital to the new Owen King European Hospital. The transition, to the state of the art hospital, was accelerated in order to preserve the old facility as a COVID-19 respiratory facility.

To the citizens of Europe, St. Lucia can never thank you enough. This is the largest capital investment programme that they have done in the Southern part of the Caribbean
- Hon. Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia
Head of Cooperation, Luis Maia with St Lucia Minister Health, Hon. Mary Isaac and National Authorising Officer, Mr. Claudius Emmanuel
Head of Cooperation, Luis Maia with St Lucia Minister of Health, Hon. Mary Isaac and National Authorising Officer, Mr. Claudius Emmanuel - Credit: Janet Wayne

The medical workers in the hospital are excited and are confident that this will allow for more comfortable and better patient care for the citizens of St. Lucia.

Only a couple of weeks ago the hospital welcomed the birth of its first baby boy, Darian Peter.

The Caribbean’s front line response towards the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic has been strengthened and numerous lives will be saved.

In the words of Hon. Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia: “To the citizens of Europe, St. Lucia can never thank you enough. This is the largest capital investment programme that they have done in the Southern part of the Caribbean”.

Breathing machines delivered to Jamaica

In Jamaica, the EU and its Member States have donated 29 ventilators to strengthen Jamaica's fight against the coronavirus. On 8 April 2020, the life-saving equipment purchased from European manufacturer Medtronic Plc (Ireland) was handed over to the Jamaican Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton.

These breathing machines will support patients who need intensive care in hospitals, and that are essential to saving the lives of those in critical condition due to Covid-19 infection. This life-saving equipment will be distributed to hospitals across the country and medical staff will be trained to use it. In these times, it is important to ensure that the health systems have all the resources they need, including human and material.

The challenge has only just begun but one thing is sure, we are stronger together!!

Head of Delegation, Malgorzata Wasilewska together with Dr. Simone Spence, Director Familiy Health Services, Ministry and Wellness Hon. Ch. Tufton
Head of Delegation, Malgorzata Wasilewska together with Dr. Simone Spence, Director of Familiy Health Services, Ministry of Health and Wellness and Hon. Ch. Tufton - Credit: Althea Buchanan