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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith (left), and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mariko Kagishima, display a US$1 million cheque from the UN to support Jamaica's coronavirus COVID-19 response.

Jamaica’s COVID response gets US$1 million boost from UN

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith (left), and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mariko Kagishima, display a US$1 million cheque from the UN to support Jamaica's coronavirus COVID-19 response.

Jamaica received US$1 million from the United Nations (UN) to boost the country’s response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of health and social services.

The United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA.

The support was provided under the UN’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), through which 47 countries across the globe have been earmarked for assistance in enhancing services to crucial and vulnerable populations.

It was launched by the UN Secretary-General to support low- and middle-income programme countries in overcoming the health and development crises caused by the pandemic. The Fund’s assistance targets those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption.

“We must commend the UN for the speed and the efficacy of its response to submissions from the many States that presented priority lists for funding.”

– Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith

UN Resident Coordinator, Mariko Kagoshima, who handed over a cheque to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, on Wednesday (May 27), outlined that US$600,000 of the support to Jamaica will go towards enhancing social protection mechanisms for women and children as well as the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

She said the remaining US$400,000 will go to the health sector “to support efforts to suppress the transmission of COVID-19, while continuing the provision of basic health services, such as maternal and newborn health, among others”.

Johnson Smith, in her remarks at the Ministry’s New Kingston office in St Andrew, said the UN’s special response mechanism is an “excellent undertaking” in its response to “this unparalleled” health crisis.

“We must commend the UN for the speed and the efficacy of its response to submissions from the many States that presented priority lists for funding. Jamaica is able to allocate the funds to specific needs and priorities that we have established,” Johnson Smith said.

She noted that the UN support will serve to address some of the most “pressing needs of people” while calling for a collaborative approach among nations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.