The Ministry of Home Affairs, Justice and National Security, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) are now better equipped to respond to the needs of communities across Saint Lucia in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. This is thanks to the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) by the Government of Canada through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, as part of the COVID-19 response initiative under the Enabling, Gender Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate and Environmental Resilience (EnGenDER) Project in the Caribbean, an initiative funded by the Government of Canada and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

In addition to the support provided to government ministries, UN Women Multi-Country Office- Caribbean through their contribution is also assisting, non-governmental organisations such as the Saint Lucia Crisis Centre and the Women’s Support Centre, which provide services and shelter in response to gender-based violence (GBV) with the supply of personal protective equipment.

The donation which includes 6,500 surgical masks from the UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean COVID-19 Response, and an automatic hand sanitizer dispenser, thermometer and 500 cloth masks from UN Women MCO Caribbean will be used to reduce the exposure to health risks faced by those in the respective Ministries as well as the relevant community service organisations who are providing frontline support during the current crisis.  An additional 1,500 surgical masks will be procured by UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in the coming months, for the benefit of extension officers from the Department of Fisheries and Social Transformation officers from the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports and Local Government. This handover is one of many initiatives executed following the official launch of the Saint Lucia COVID-19 Response Programme which took place on September 3rd, 2020.

Ms. Janey Joseph, Director of Gender Relations, in the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations in concluding the handover event, graciously thanked “the Project Management Unit for the EnGenDER Project based in UNDP Barbados and the UN Women Multi-Country Office for the Caribbean for their unwavering support through this initiative and the wider EnGenDER project.”

The EnGenDER project is supporting nine (9) participating Caribbean countries by committing USD 1,149,000.00 to their COVID-19 response and gender base violence (GBV) initiatives. These initiatives ensure that the project’s overall objective of reducing rather than exacerbating gender vulnerabilities is achieved by making certain that society’s most vulnerable are reached and assisted during and after crises.

 

For more information on the COVID Response Initiative or the EnGenDER Project please contact Mr. Massimiliano Tozzi, Project Manager at email address massimiliano.tozzi@undp.org

 

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