PAHO/WHO and UNAIDS deliver vital PPE to support Jamaica’s vulnerable communities against COVID-19

26 Oct 2020
PAHO donation

Kingston, Jamaica, 26 Oct 2020: In a ceremony today, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and UNAIDS handed over vital personal protective equipment (PPE) to enable key community organisations to continue to provide essential support and services to some of Jamaica’s most vulnerable populations while protecting staff against COVID-19.  

Supplies including face shields, surgical masks, hand sanitisers, liquid soap and infrared thermometers were distributed to seven community organisations that address the needs of disadvantaged children and adolescents, people living with HIV, the transgender community and those requiring legal assistance. Relief packages were calculated to support each organisation and its staff for the next six months.

Dr Bernadette Theodore-Gandi, PAHO/WHO Representative for Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and Manoela Manova, UNAIDS Country Director for Jamaica commended the work of the community organisations as they handed over supplies to representatives from Eve for Life, Children First Agency, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), the Jamaica Community of Women Living with HIV, Jamaicans for Justice, the Jamaica Network of Seropositives and Transwave.

“Protecting the rights of the most vulnerable to access safe and equitable healthcare is at the core of PAHO’s work. We are pleased to be able to support these essential organisations so they can continue to provide life-saving services to those in need,” emphasised Dr Gandi.  

“Community and civil society organizations are among those providing essential services to the most affected, vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. We are happy to provide PPE that will enable them to do this critical health and social work while keeping their staff and clients protected,” said Ms. Manova.

COVID-19 has caused major disruptions in service delivery for many organisations including those that provide essential community support needs. The funding for the relief package was mobilised through the United Nations COVID-19Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (COVID-19 MPTF), which aims to address service disruptions to vulnerable communities.

UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund

The United Nations (UN) COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (COVID-19 MPTF) is a UN inter-agency finance mechanism launched by the UN Secretary-General to support low- and middle- income programme countries in overcoming the health and development crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund’s assistance targets those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption.

Built on the lessons learned from the Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund, the UN COVID-19 MPTF helps finance the three objectives of the UN Secretary-General’s Call for Solidarity, a plea for global action to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and the suffering it has caused. The Call’s objectives are to tackle the health emergency; focus on the social impact, and the economic response and recovery; and help countries recover better.