Press conference by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley following the UNGA76 – September 25, 2021. (PMO)

A full statement is to be prepared on the National Vaccination Fund, and it will be laid in Parliament next Tuesday.

This disclosure came from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley today during a press conference, where she outlined the meetings she held during the week on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and discussed her attendance at that important meeting.

Ms. Mottley, who returns to the island tomorrow, told the media: “I have asked the Director of Finance to prepare, for laying in Parliament on Tuesday morning, a full statement of that vaccine fund….

“This morning, he already indicated to me that as of yesterday, September 24, the National Vaccination Fund collected the sum of $11,339,866.33, of which $7.8 million was transferred to the Consolidated Fund on March 26 2021. As at March 24, 2021, $500,000 was spent on the purchase of vaccines, [and] there were only two purchases of vaccines….”

The Prime Minister said the epidemiological reports were showing that the majority of children who were being infected with COVID-19 were under 12 years old.

She expressed concern about this worrying trend, saying that it reinforced the point that the issue with regard to the virus was not in public spaces, but households and communities around the homes.

She reminded that masks should be worn in those households where the virus could easily be transmitted. “If you don’t have masks, I’m going to ask that masks be distributed in every part of the country, working with the churches, working with civil groups because we need to make sure that it is in that space,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Ms. Mottley participated in UNGA and other high-level meetings, as well as held bilateral discussions with several leaders, including the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Andrés Alvarado Quesada; Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen; Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, and Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

She also met with the President of the World Bank and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, in her capacity as Chair of the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF.

She described her scheduled during the week as “packed”. “But it is a week we believe that will add value to Barbados’ options, and to Barbados’ capacity to meander and to negotiate in this very difficult world with respect to climate, with respect to the pandemic, with respect to debt, with respect to vulnerability generally, and with respect to investment,” she surmised.

With regard to her meeting with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, she said they shared experiences on managing the virus and discussed other opportunities for technical assistance, particularly in the area of offshore wind.

“Denmark is the global leader with respect to offshore wind farms and it is a country whose approach to development, particularly child care and social development and education, … mirrors the approach that Barbados has taken to social development…, and we’ve agreed to work very closely on a number of issues,” Ms. Mottley disclosed.

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