Statement By Ambassador Joseph Mondello
Port of Spain, April 24, 2020: I am happy to announce that the United States will provide US$3,000,000 in immediate, additional funding to help the Caribbean address the COVID-19 pandemic, of which Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will each receive US$475,000.
I am proud of the role past U.S. assistance is already playing in regional and national responses to the crisis. From 2010 to 2019, the United States provided US$8,508,841 for the institutional strengthening of CARPHA and improving regional integration, and the result of that assistance is a stronger response to COVID-19 than might have been possible otherwise. CARPHA’s diagnostic laboratory has been particularly instrumental in providing testing for 13 Caribbean countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and U.S. assistance supported its international accreditation in 2018.
Then-Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan met in April 2019 with officials from Trinidad and Tobago and 17 other Caribbean countries in Miami to launch the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership to build regional capacity to confront disaster response and promote resilience. Little did we know what the future would hold – that is the nature of emergencies – but we knew coordination and preparation was important, and that work is already paying dividends as we respond together to COVID-19.
The United States will continue to work with the region and Trinidad and Tobago to confront and defeat this latest challenge, just as we have successfully collaborated to overcome so many challenges in the past.
U.S. Ambassador Joseph N. Mondello.