An integral aspect of the UNDP COVID-19 Response Programme involves working with governments and key stakeholders to provide support for many of our essential services and frontline workers. To this end, the sourcing of high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary healthcare tools has been of significant importance. For many regional governments, it has been central to their ability to respond effectively and efficiently to the ongoing pandemic.

“The goal is to enable governments to effectively respond to their respective nations’ needs, by helping them overcome the severe disruptions in the global supply chain for key healthcare and ancillary supplies and equipment crucial to the crisis response,” commented Mr. Ugo Blanco, Resident Representative a.i. for UNDP in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. “UNDP’s extensive logistics experience in health sector procurement helps to ensure quality assurance, products from reputable suppliers and manufacturers, as well as efficient, timely and cost-effective procurement.”

Thus far, several Eastern Caribbean countries have benefitted from improved access to PPE. In particular, face masks have emerged as a critical tool in combatting the spread of COVID-19, resulting in their increased and unprecedented demand. UNDP has provided over 300,000 face masks for the region. In St. Kitts, UNPD through the CariSECURE project donated thousands of masks to the members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and to Her Majesty’s Prison to aid in keeping their staff safe. 

Shorna Herbert, Principal Prison Officer, expressed her gratitude for the contribution, stating at the handing over ceremony, “I would like to express my warmest appreciation for the much-needed masks that were awarded to us. CariSECURE, the Commissioner and the prison staff are grateful that you took the initiative upon you to give us these masks.”

In Grenada, the Ministry of Social Development, Housing & Community Empowerment and the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs also benefitted from the provision of PPE by the UNDP COVID-19 Response Programme. The donation, which included 3,000 masks is intended to help reduce the exposure to health risks faced by those in the Ministries, as well as relevant community service organisations that are responsible for providing psychosocial support to the victims of gender-based violence (GBV) during the pandemic. This donation was made in collaboration with the Spotlight Initiative, which is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

The UNDP COVID-19 Response Programme continues to identify and alleviate key areas where Caribbean nations are being negatively impacted due to the pandemic.

 

For more information on other success stories or on the response programme for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, contact Shani Leacock – shani.leacock@undp.org.

 

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