The UAE today sent an aid plane carrying 12.5 metric tons of medical supplies and 500,000 rapid testing kits for 14 Caribbean island states, including: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, in addition to the UK overseas territory Montserrat, in cooperation with Barbados as a hub for distribution and through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
This aid will assist approximately 12,500 medical professionals and other individuals as they work to contain the spread of COVID-19.
His Excellency Badr Abdullah Al Matroushi, UAE Ambassador to Cuba and Non-Resident Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and St. Kitts and Nevis and Representative to the Association of Caribbean States, said: “The UAE is a strong supporter of Caribbean governments’ efforts to achieve their national priorities and sustainable development goals, particularly in ensuring access to modern, sustainable, and affordable energy services. The UAE extends as well its support to these governments in taking urgent action to combat climate change, achieve gender equality, and empower women and girls.”
“The dispatch of medical aid aircraft today to the Caribbean Islands reflects the UAE’s ongoing efforts to support their fight against the current pandemic by providing the necessary medical supplies to enhance the capacity of medical workers and provide them with appropriate protection,” he said.
For his part, His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Juma Al Mansouri, UAE Ambassador to Panama and Non-Resident Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Barbados, remarked: “The UAE is honored to extend assistance to Caribbean nations, where COVID-19 has presented challenges that the region has faced with courage and determination. This aid will further strengthen Caribbean nations’ ability to fight the pandemic in service of their communities.”
Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations (UN) in New York and Non-Resident Ambassador to Grenada, commented: “International cooperation is essential to contain the pandemic and drive economic recovery. We agree with the World Health Organization’s assessment that no one is safe until everyone is safe. The UAE is committed to working with the international community and Caribbean countries to ensure that lives and health are preserved and that tourism, trade, and other economic activity can resume safely.”
To date, the UAE has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by providing over 1,132 metric tons of aid to 89 countries, supporting more than 1 million medical professionals in the process. The UAE has also provided aircraft to the UN World Food Programme, which runs logistics for the UN response to COVID-19, and $10 million of testing kits to the World Health Organization. The UAE is also host to the UN’s largest supply and logistics hub, housed in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City.