Image courtesy High Commission of Canada to Trinidad and Tobago.

The Government of Canada has announced several initiatives in which it will provide support to Trinidad and Tobago’s—and that of the overall Caribbean—response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an official statement released by the High Commission of Canada, the Canadian Government says it will provide financial support to the tune of CA $7.5 million, which will assist the work of the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

The Trinidad and Tobago National Laboratory also will receive support through the donation of diagnostic equipment, valued at CA $135,000.

The full statement issued by the High Commission of Canada, follows…

CANADA ANNOUNCES INITIATIVES TO CONTRIBUTE TO
GOVERNMENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID19 PANDEMIC

In recognition of the major economic impact and the public health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on the countries of the world and the CARICOM region in particular, the Government of Canada continues to look for ways to support the unique needs of Caribbean countries.

As a strong partner for Caribbean countries in these uncertain times, the Government of Canada is proud to immediately support the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) with CA $7.5M to provide much-needed technical assistance, medical equipment and supplies for their COVID-19 response, of which CA $5M will to be disbursed in the Caribbean region, to support immediate life-saving assistance through PAHO.

Recognizing Trinidad and Tobago’s timely response to the COVID19 pandemic, His Excellency Kumar Gupta, High Commissioner for Canada to Trinidad and Tobago assures that Canada’s contribution is meant to complement ongoing laudable efforts by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Canada continues to support the work of the government of Trinidad and Tobago to mitigate the effects of this global pandemic”, he stated, adding “and Canada stands ready to assist the TT Government in future endeavours to beat COVID19”.

As per a request by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Canada also is immediately providing CA $135,000 to the twin-island republic to support efforts to respond to COVID-19 as part of an existing health sector disaster risk management project with the PAHO. 

The Trinidad and Tobago National Laboratory will also receive support from the Government of Canada with the provision of diagnostic equipment valued at CA$135 000, through the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Furthermore, the Canadian government continues its commitment to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) with a CA$93,000 project focused on enhancing the long-term sustainability of their CARPHA BSL 3 Lab, where regional COVID19 testing is taking place. This lab was built and equipped by Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program at a cost of CA$2.4M in 2014.

Canada is also engaging various medical authorities to see how Canadian industry might play a role in meeting the region’s needs in the fight against the current pandemic, in a reliable manner. Many Canadian companies have heeded Prime Minister Trudeau’s call to retool production and reallocate resources toward the battle against COVID 19, and many have identified capacity to supply international markets in need of supplies such as testing kits, PPE, ventilators.

Canada is working actively to lead the global response to this crisis. This leadership includes high-level engagement to ensure that trade keeps flowing and global supply chains remain open. We are making progress on ensuring food security, financing for sustainable development, expanding liquidity across the global economy and implementing strategies for countries to recover better. Canada is a reliable partner in difficult times.

More than ever, Canada remains engaged with key partners such as Trinidad and Tobago to advance our mutual commitment to multilateralism, understanding that the only way to win the fight against COVID-19 is through global cooperation.