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World Bank Response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in the Caribbean

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* *The World Bank’s focus on a cross-cutting approach for building resilience in the Caribbean is more important now than ever. We are working with member countries in the Caribbean to help them respond to COVID-19 and prepare for a sustainable economic recovery. This page will be updated periodically. For more information on our response in Haiti, visit this page.

What is the World Bank doing to support the Caribbean’s response to COVID-19?

· The World Bank is bringing financing and knowledge support to help countries address the health threat and the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Financing for immediate health response comes from the global COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility, by triggering contingent financing mechanisms like Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Options (CAT DDOs), and by quickly and flexibly reallocating existing project resources to support COVID-19 response.

· Initial support has focused primarily on the health impact of the crisis. The World Bank has helped countries procure essential supplies to detect, contain, and treat COVID-19, strengthen health systems, and expand social protection for vulnerable groups.

· The World Bank is now moving to its next phase of support, helping countries address the social, economic, and financial impacts of the crisis and prepare for a resilient and sustainable recovery.

Which Caribbean countries are included in the COVID-19 response?

· Financing for COVID-19 response has been provided in the following countries: Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Preparation of support for Belize and Trinidad and Tobago is well advanced.

What is being done for each country to address the impacts of COVID-19?

Dominica

· The World Bank activated US$6.6 million to provide immediate funding for Dominica’s emergency response, focusing on enhancing health system capacity and strengthening food security.

· US$5.1 million will be used to bolster the capacity of Dominica’s public health system to manage COVID-19. Funds will be available to purchase drugs, medical supplies and equipment, and laboratory supplies to boost testing capacity and for minor retrofitting of isolation units.

· Another US$1.5 million will be used to support agriculture and strengthen national food security during the pandemic. The intervention is targeted to reach an estimated 3,200 farmers to ensure that the local food supply chains are better able to meet the needs of the island.

· These funds were accessed through the Contingent Emergency Response Components of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project and the Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project.

· More information: Press Release

Dominican Republic

· The Dominican Republic has activated end March 2020, the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO) from the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with a CAT DDO.

· This US$150 million contingency credit line will help the country implement emergency measures to contain the spread and manage health and economic impacts.

· More information: Press Release

Grenada

· The World Bank activated US$2.5 million to support Grenada’s response, which will be used to strengthen the health sector response.

· The financing will be used to purchase critical supplies, including personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, medical equipment, laboratory equipment and tests, and goods and services to enhance preparedness and surveillance systems at ports of entry. The funds will also be used for the retrofitting of isolation areas, including a mobile unit, and the procurement of an oxygen generation plant.

· These funds were accessed through the Contingent Emergency Response Component of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project.

· More information: Press Release

Saint Lucia

· The World Bank activated US$10.5 million to support the country’s COVID-19 response. These funds will strengthen Saint Lucia’s efforts to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

· This financing will help increase testing capabilities, build isolation units, and enhance public information campaigns to assist with awareness and prevention. It will also support the rehabilitation of Victoria Hospital and other medical facilities, creating employment through the associated labor-intensive civil works that will also enhance infrastructure resilience.

· These funds were accessed under the Contingency Emergency Response Components of the Saint Lucia Health System Strengthening Project and the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project

· More information: Press Release

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

· The World Bank activated US$4.5 million to provide immediate funding for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response, aimed at strengthening the capacity of the health system.

· The financing will be used to improve the ability to isolate patients, increase testing capacity, and purchase critical supplies, including personal protective equipment, mobile isolation units, testing equipment, reagents, gloves, and masks. It will also support preparedness and response capacity for other public health emergencies by increasing access to medical equipment and expanding the capacity of hospitals.

· These funds were accessed under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project.

· More information: Press Release

Suriname

· The World Bank activated US$412,000 to purchase essential medical supplies in Suriname for emergency response.

· As part of its rapid response at the onset of the pandemic, Suriname benefited from this World Bank financing to procure and distribute personal protective equipment and medical supplies to key hospitals handling COVID-19 cases.

· The funds were mobilized under the Saramacca Canal System Rehabilitation Project using the Contingency Emergency Response Component.

· More information: Press Release

Haiti

· For information on World Bank support to the COVID-19 response in Haiti, visit the country page here.