Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. On January 30, 2024, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) welcomed the Caribbean Country Department General Manager of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, Mr. Anton Edmunds, for a courtesy visit to discuss the Pandemic Fund (PF) “Reducing the Public Health Impact of Pandemics in the Caribbean through Prevention, Preparedness, and Response” [RG-T4387] Project.
IDB’s delegation included Mr. Anton Edmunds, General Manager, Caribbean Countries Department, Ms. Carina Cockburn, IDB Group Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Sergio Rios, Chief of Operations in Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Ian Ho-a-Shu, Senior Health Specialist, Dr. Fazal Ali, Specialist Consultant coordinating IDB’s Digital Transformation Agenda, Ms. Dominique Afoon, Health Consultant and Ms. Alix Lewis, Operations Consultant. The IDB Team was welcomed by the CARPHA team consisting of Dr. Lisa Indar, Director, Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control (D-SDPC) Division and the PF Project Lead; Dr. Mark Sami, Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Sean Jodhan, Finance Manager; and Dr. Sastee Kissoondan, Technical Officer in the Office of D-SDPC.
This visit discussed the progress of the PF Project and IDB’s support. The approaches the PF will use for reducing the national and regional gaps in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) across the Caribbean via the four components of the project was discussed: (i) strengthening and expanding integrated early-warning systems (EWS), (ii) expansion of laboratory Systems, (iii) workforce development; and (iv) regional strategic coordination, collaboration and commitment to pandemic response. This visit IDB solidified the ongoing partnership between the IDB and CARPHA and reiterated the commitment for project execution and implementation by the two agencies.
In July 2023, the PF Governing Board announced that CARPHA’s regional entity proposal, entitled ‘Reducing the Public Health Impact of Pandemics in the Caribbean through Strengthened Integrated Early Warning Surveillance, Laboratory Systems and Workforce Development’ was successfully selected for the first round of financing. CARPHA is the Executing Agency and the IDB is the Implementing Entity. The objective of the project is to support CARPHA in reducing the public health impact of pandemics in the Caribbean region will serve to build PPR surveillance and EWS, laboratory systems and workforce capacity regionally at CARPHA and at country levels.
Preparations are advancing at record pace for fulfilling conditions for first disbursement.