[Port-au-Prince] – The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided USD $1 million to the American Red Cross to help Haiti respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this project, the American Red Cross will support the Haitian Red Cross to implement COVID-19 response activities in line with the Haitian government’s nationwide plan.
The Haitian Red Cross will mobilize its wide network of volunteers trained in disaster preparedness and response, hygiene promotion, and community-based epidemic control and prevention to support risk communication and community engagement campaigns. These activities will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the West, South, and North West departments.
U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Michele Sison, said: “We want to ensure that Haitian families have the information, support, and resources they need to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Working in coordination with the Haitian government’s nationwide plan, the funding we are providing to the American and Haitian Red Cross builds on our previous funding and programs designed to keep Haitian families healthy.”
The President of the National Society of the Haitian Red Cross, Dr. Guiteau Jean-Pierre, underlined that the granting of these funds is excellent news for Haiti. He noted, “This funding will help us implement our national response plan more effectively and increase the services we can provide to the Haitian people in order to reduce the spread of the virus and protect more lives.’’
The Haitian Red Cross will spread messages about handwashing and other hygiene measures while also installing handwashing kiosks in public spaces and distributing soap, buckets, and other hygiene supplies to households at risk. The teams will also address stigma, discrimination, and dispel misinformation about the virus. Additionally, the project will provide psychosocial support to protect the well-being of community members affected by COVID-19.
USAID Mission Director, Mr. Chris Cushing, remarked, “I am extremely pleased with the collaboration between USAID, the American Red Cross, and the Haitian Red Cross to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Haiti.”
Volunteers will be equipped to stay safe, and social distancing measures will be integrated into all interventions in line with reducing COVID-19 transmission. The interventions will prioritize people with disabilities, the elderly, those with health conditions, pregnant women, and women with small children to stay safe. USAID is actively assisting countries such as Haiti that are affected by COVID-19. To combat COVID-19 in Haiti, USAID works directly with the Haitian government, multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other organizations responding to the outbreak. Because an infectious disease threat anywhere can become a threat everywhere, the United States calls on other donors to contribute to the global effort to combat COVID-19.
For more information about USAID’s response to COVID-19, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/coronavirus-covid-19
For more information about the American Red Cross, visit https://www.redcross.org