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CARPHA Progresses to Eligibility for the First Disbursement of Pandemic Funding

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Following a landmark Public Signing Ceremony for the Pandemic Fund (PF) Technical Cooperation Agreement (“Reducing the Public Health Impact of Pandemics in the Caribbean through Prevention, Preparedness, and Response” [RG-T4387] Project) on December 14, 2023, in Trinidad, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) continues to progress towards the start of implementation.

 CARPHA fulfilled the IDB’s nine conditions prior to first disbursement, achieving full eligibility on March 15, 2024, and is now eligible for the first disbursement. This milestone achievement in just 3 months after the signing speaks to the commitment of both CARPHA, the Executing Agency, and IDB, the Implementing Entity, toward the regional PF project with the objective of supporting the reduction of the public health impact of pandemics in the Caribbean by building pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) surveillance & early-warning systems (EWS), laboratory systems and workforce capacity, regionally at CARPHA and in countries.

Since the signing of the Technical Cooperation Agreement and as part of the conditions prior to first disbursement, CARPHA has achieved the following key outputs (i) the development of the PF Project Operations Manual, Multi-annual Execution Plan, Procurement Plan, Financial Plan, Procedure for CARPHA’s Financial Reporting System; (ii) vacancy announcements for two tranches of consultants with the subsequent hiring of five (Technical Coordinator, Financial Specialist, Procurement Specialist, Operations Officer and Project Operations Coordinator) and (iii) the establishment of the Project Execution Unit (PEU) and Project Execution Steering Committee (PESC). The dedicated PEU will be responsible for execution according to its planned timelines, which will be led by the Dr. Lisa Indar, the Project Director (CARPHA’s Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control Division).

 CARPHA, as the lead regional public health agency and an expression of Caribbean Cooperation in Health is mandated by its Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) to support its 26 CARPHA Member States (CMS) in bolstering national systems and coordinating regional response to public health threats. The Agency works closely with regional and international agencies and uses regional mechanisms, surveillance systems, and networks for coordinating its public health response work.

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. It was one of only 19 proposals selected from over 300 submissions and the only regional project. The three priority areas in the proposal are: (i) Comprehensive disease surveillance and EWS, (ii) Laboratory systems and (iii) Human resources and public health and community workforce capacity.

This project is expected to begin implementation in March 2024, starting off with a blended onboarding session. A Stakeholder Meeting with countries is tentatively planned for July 2024.

CARPHA remains dedicated to working together with the IDB, CARPHA Member States and the Pandemic Fund to successfully implement the regional proposal geared toward reducing the public health impact of pandemics in the Caribbean.

Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Caribbean News

Four Year Old Beheaded Trinidad 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#Homicide#FourYearOld#TrinidadandTobago, April 9, 2024 – Trinidad was left in shock and sorrow with the beheading of a four year old girl, reportedly by her stepfather, early Tuesday April 9, at her home in Arouca, a town in the East-West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago. The Police informed that when they arrived on the scene, the head of the little girl, identified as Amarah Lallitte, was in one room and her body in another.  

 

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Caribbean News

CariSECURE 2.0 Equipping Youth to Take Charge Against Crime

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Bridgetown, 9 April, 2024 – Amidst rising concerns over citizen security in the Caribbean, a deliberate effort is being made to empower the region’s youth to step into leadership roles and drive change from within. Through a free, online course by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), youth will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle pressing security challenges head-on.

The “Youth on the way to Peace and Security” course is being launched regionally as part of CariSECURE 2.0 (CS2.0), which works to reduce youth involvement in crime and trafficking in persons (TIP) in the region. It will run from 16 April – 3 May, with support from InfoSegura.

This course comes at a crucial time when security issues like crime and violence are on the rise in the Caribbean. By the end of the course, participants will have improved understanding of regional security challenges, enhanced leadership skills, and greater opportunity to network with peers and experts around the region, empowering them to take leadership roles in regional conversations and citizen security activities.

Maia Hibben, Project Manager for CariSECURE 2.0, underscored the significance of engaging young people in matters of citizen security.  ” Throughout the life of our project, input from young people has been invaluable,” she said. “Whether it be helping to craft national workplans to reduce crime, developing a roadmap for youth empowerment in the Caribbean, or creating digital solutions to improve crime reporting as planned for this year, youth have proven that their perspectives are indispensable. This course is just another way for youth to strengthen their skills to address regional security challenges.”

By building capacity of young leaders to address security challenges and promote social cohesion, the course contributes directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16, towards Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

The course will offer lessons in the current mechanisms that impact youth decision making, insight into youth citizen security challenges in the Caribbean, and give practical guidance on the positive roles participants can play in conflict resolution, with complementary webinars, podcasts and practical resources tailored to the English-speaking Caribbean. It is free of charge and open to participants from all backgrounds, regardless of age, nationality, or level of experience. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.

Register for the course by 15 April: escuelavirtualpnud.org/login/index.php?lang=en

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