The USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission and the UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area have joined forces to provide hygiene and prevention supplies to children in the care of state-run institutions in Barbados during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, expressed appreciation to the two donor agencies which supplied grants to a number of Caribbean countries, including Barbados, to procure the supplies.
The items, consisting of soap, chlorine, hygiene kits, hand sanitizers, aqua tabs, masks, thermometers and disinfectants, are being distributed to children’s homes, government training institutions for juveniles, foster care programmes and schools.
In Barbados, the beneficiaries are the Child Care Board, the Government Industrial Schools and public schools.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held at the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs on Monday, Minister Forde stated: “We are grateful for this gift which will safeguard the health of our citizens, especially our young children.”
She acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the entire world, including the Caribbean region, and while Barbados has made tremendous strides in containing the spread of the viral illness, she cautioned everyone to remain vigilant and adhere to all protocols.
Ms. Forde commended UNICEF and USAID for the work they were doing in the region, and described the donation of these critical supplies as “timely and important”.
She also praised other initiatives implemented through the USAID and UNICEF collaboration, which ensured that parents and guardians received targeted and accurate information about COVID-19, in order to keep themselves and their families safe.
She highlighted the radio series currently running on CBC 98.1 FM in Barbados entitled COVID-19: Supporting Our Children.
The supplies were presented to the Ministry by Representative of the UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area, Aloys Kamuragiye, and Regional Representative of USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission, Clinton White.