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The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis (Photo: OECS Business Focus)

ECCB approves EC$4-M grant to tackle COVID-19

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis (Photo: OECS Business Focus)

The Monetary Council of the  Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), acting on the recommendations of the ECCB board of directors, today approved grant funding totalling EC$4 million to member governments to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We are facing an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

— Dr Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council

As a result of the allocation, each ECCB member country will receive EC$500,000 to treat with the virus, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global pandemic on March 11.

According to Chairman of the ECCB Monetary Council, Dr Keith Mitchell, “We are facing an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our countries are very appreciative of this thoughtful and practical gesture by the bank.”

Dr Keith Mitchell, prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis, is also chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council. (File photo)

With this understanding of the potential economic, financial and social impacts of COVID-19 on member countries, the ECCB disbursed half of the grant on Friday, March 13, to purchase testing kits and other critical equipment to detect, contain and manage COVID-19.

The ECCB will disburse the rest of the funds “to procure equipment and supplies such as ventilators and drugs through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS PPS), a bulk procurement mechanism”.