NEW KINGSTON, Jamaica (Wednesday, April 21, 2021) — The government of Canada, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, today, donated $11.3 million (CAD 100,000) to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in support of Jamaica’s COVID-19 response.
Canada’s contribution will support the expansion of the COVID-19 wards, by enabling the procurement of some 48 hospital beds.
High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Emina Tudakovic, at the brief handover ceremony, held at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston, noted that this donation responds to an urgent priority.
“Canada stands with its international partners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The support to these hospital wards is an extension of Canada’s global response and international assistance to developing countries, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus and strengthen governments’ capacity to fight the pandemic. Canada remains committed to the efforts of the government of Jamaica in this fight,” said the High Commissioner.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, expressed gratitude for the continued cooperation between Canada and Jamaica; and offered his appreciation for Canada’s generous support of the island’s COVID-19 response efforts.
“Success in the fight against this global pandemic requires collaboration and cooperation. The government and people of Jamaica are grateful to the government and people of Canada for this donation, which will help to boost our local response actions,” the Minister said.
The provision of additional beds will help to enhance the capacity and resilience of the health system, to provide effective medical care of persons with COVID-19 in Jamaica, commented Minister Tufton; adding that procurement of the beds is to be completed by April 30.
Through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, an additional 12 million Jamaican dollars was provided to five local community organisations, as targeted relief, to some of those most affected in vulnerable communities, over a 12-month period.
The Canada Fund supports small-scale, high-impact projects in developing countries, which align with Canada’s thematic priority areas for engagement.