Japan and UNOPS support strengthening of health systems to treat COVID-19 in the Caribbean
09 March 2021
USD 4.8 million grant from the Japanese government will fund essential medical equipment, supplies, and more in Belize, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago.
The Government of Japan will contribute USD 4.8 million towards a Project managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for Enhancing the Healthcare System through the Provision of Medical Equipment in Belize, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago. The agreement for this collaboration was signed on 8 March in a ceremony held at the UNOPS office in San José with the participation of Hon. KOMATSU Shinjiro, Ambassador of Japan in Costa Rica; Mr. Alejandro Rossi, Director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office for Costa Rica, Panama and the English & Dutch Speaking Caribbean; and Ms. Anesa Ali-Rodríguez, in representation of the Embassy of Trinidad & Tobago in San Jose.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit every country differently, but it has equally showcased the importance of strengthening public health systems. In order to provide an efficient and effective COVID-19 response, governments focus a great part of their efforts towards ensuring solid healthcare systems to safeguard the population.
Through a grant from the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), UNOPS will support the procurement of 4.8 million US dollars of essential medical equipment, medical supplies and personal protective equipment to aid in the public health response to the current crisis. By providing support to the governments, the project will contribute to enhance the healthcare systems of Belize, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago; benefitting around 57,420 people.
“Japan hopes to continue strengthening relations of friendship and goodwill with the nations of Belize, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago and contribute to the global response against the new coronavirus. It is in the mutual interest of our countries to continue collaborating closely to face the enormous health, economic and social challenge that COVID-19 has posed for humanity”, said His Excellency Hon. Ambassador of Japan in Costa Rica, KOMATSU Shinjiro.
“Within the framework of our mandate as the central procurement resource of the United Nations System, UNOPS has been working with the Government of Japan on a global scale. It is an honor to once again be able to work alongside the Health authorities of Caribbean governments, and contribute from the United Nations System to the strategy for an effective response to the pandemic and an improvement of the national health systems; all while applying the highest standards in procurement within the approach of fair public management”, stated Mr. Alejandro Rossi, Director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office for Costa Rica, Panama, and the English & Dutch Speaking Caribbean
To date, and within the framework of a global alliance with UNOPS, the Government of Japan has contributed to other Latin American countries; such as Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico; with significant contributions to expand their response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic; supporting the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 “Good Health and Well-Being” and the implementation of Fair Public Management. The most recent of these agreements was with Costa Rica, to supply 12 hospitals of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund with medical equipment for a value close to USD 3 million.
The project will be managed by UNOPS in a comprehensive manner, safeguarding the procurement and delivery process while strictly adhering to the requirements of the health authorities of the Caribbean countries; hence ensuring the highest quality, transparency and performance of the economic resources provided by the Government of Japan.