US to provide additional J$130 million to aid Jamaica's COVID relief
The US government will provide approximately J$130 million to support Jamaica’s response to COVID-19 via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).
The funding, aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s HIV-control efforts, will be provided to civil society and other implementing partners.
It will facilitate the procurement of instruments for genomic sequencing to identify COVID-19 variants, care and treatment in HIV clinical services, psychosocial support for vulnerable populations, and more.
In March 2021, President Biden signed ARPA into law.
The American Rescue Plan Act is expected to change the course of the pandemic and deliver immediate and direct relief to countries impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
As part of the legislation, a significant amount of funding was made available to the Department of State to “support programs for the prevention, treatment, and control of HIV/AIDS in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including to mitigate the impact on such programs from coronavirus and support recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus.”
The funding is being managed via the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The Caribbean Regional PEPFAR Program has received a total of US$1 million to support activities in the Caribbean, of which US$875,000 (J$130M) will support programs in Jamaica.
This amount will facilitate infection prevention and control; COVID screening; genomic sequencing capability; mental health support for healthcare workers; social services for vulnerable populations; enhanced digital platforms for appointments and e-learning; and more.
To date, the United States government has provided nearly J$750 million (US$5M) in COVID-19 assistance to Jamaica.