The World Bank has disbursed funds to help St Vincent and the Grenadines strengthen the capacity of its health system.
On April 17 the bank activated US$4.5 million to support the federated islands’ response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
St Vincent and the Grenadines will use the funds to improve the isolation of patients, increase testing capacity, and purchase critical supplies — personal protective equipment, mobile isolation units, testing equipment, reagents, gloves, and masks.
The funds will also support preparedness and response capacity for other public health emergencies by increasing access to medical equipment and expanding the capacity of hospitals.
“The World Bank is working closely with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to help the health system prepare for the impacts of COVID-19 and to protect people, especially the most vulnerable,” said Tahseen Sayed, the World Bank’s Country Director for the Caribbean.
Through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project the World Bank mobilised the funds using the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC). CERCs allow funds to be reallocated from the project to be used for emergency response activities.