Deputy Assistant Secretary Barbara Feinstein, during her visit to Guyana and meeting with Acting President Mark Phillips, announced plans to provide $1.5 million in urgent COVID-19 assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for countries in the Eastern Caribbean region, including The Bahamas, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
This assistance will be focused on helping countries with vaccine deployment and readiness, and includes efforts to address vaccine hesitancy and combat vaccine mis- and dis-information. The additional support will assist with community vaccination campaigns and engagement activities, strengthen the cold chain environment, train healthcare workers, and develop regional and country specific campaigns to increase vaccine uptake. Activities will be implemented through local, regional, and international organizations such as the local Ministries of Health, local non-governmental organizations, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, and the USAID Country Health Information Systems and Data Use (CHISU) project implemented by JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.
U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch remarked, “The United States Government is committed to assisting the government and people of Guyana on the road to recovery after the devastation of COVID-19.”
USAID Regional Representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Clinton. D. White, noted, “The funding will fill key gaps to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine uptake, and strengthen countries’ preparedness for future pandemic threats.”
USAID has provided nearly $63 million in COVID-19 assistance to the Caribbean since the beginning of the pandemic to address health, humanitarian, and economic impacts. This includes over $7 million for partner countries in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean region. In addition to the over 300,000 vaccine doses from the U.S. Government to Guyana, USAID’s partnership with the Ministry of Health, Guyana has included prevention and vaccination messaging reaching nearly 70 percent of the population, distribution of critical hygiene and prevention supplies in indigenous communities, and tents to support mobile vaccination clinics in rural areas to increase vaccine accessibility and availability.
Diseases know no borders. The United States Government is committed to partnering with our Caribbean neighbors, partners, and friends to end the COVID-19 pandemic, save lives, and stop the threat of dangerous new variants.