The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US $750,000 grant financed by the IDB Japan Special Fund to support the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in the coordination of the regional health response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The grant will support CARPHA to work with Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago to enhance their COVID-19 detection abilities, mobilize surge response capacity and strengthen real-time disease surveillance and response.
This will be done over the next two years and a portion of the grant will also be directed at strengthening CARPHA’s laboratory capacity to meet the additional COVID-19 specimen-testing demands from their 26 member states.
These interventions will translate into CARPHA maintaining efficient turnaround times for sample testing on a 24/7 basis, the establishment and training of rapid response teams, expansion of their Regional Tourism and Travellers Health Program, the creation of a Caribbean travel health app and strengthening human resource capacity.
The IDB Japan Special Fund was first established in 1988 by the Japanese government to foster social and economic growth throughout the IDB’s borrowing member countries.
As of April 2020, Japan has already committed more than US$230 million to this fund. (PR)