The United States Embassy in Kingston—through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)—announced an additional J$45 million (US$300,000) to support Jamaica’s uptake to COVID-19 vaccines and reduce transmission among vulnerable populations.
These funds will assist the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) to address urgent needs and fill gaps in order to support COVID-19 vaccine readiness and improve the vaccine uptake within vulnerable populations. This includes a series of public awareness campaigns to combat misinformation and disinformation around vaccine hesitancy.
In total, the U.S. Embassy has provided more than J$1.8 billion (U.S. $12 million) in COVID-related assistance to Jamaica. Of this J$1.8 billion in COVID-related assistance, USAID has provided approximately J$1.1 billion (U.S. $7.5 million) to support Jamaica’s COVID-19 response. This included assisting JASL with the provision of 1,500 care packages of masks and sanitizers to the vulnerable population across all 14 parishes. Additionally, JASL conducted a public messaging campaign for over 100,000 vulnerable Jamaicans to increase knowledge of COVID-19 prevention and treatment, support mental health, and fight COVID-19 stigma and discrimination.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John McIntyre remarked, “COVID-19 is a global challenge that requires a global response. Our Embassy response is comprehensive, and I am especially proud of the ongoing work and assistance USAID is providing in Jamaica.”
“USAID is providing a robust variety of assistance options to support Jamaica’s COVID-19 response. We are working closely with the people and government of Jamaica so that our assistance is tailored to the needs of the country,” said USAID/Jamaica, Country Representative, Jason Fraser.
“We are grateful for the continued support of USAID to provide our clients with holistic care during these difficult times. It is through this partnership we have remained committed to providing medical, nutritional, and psychosocial assistance. With the availability of the vaccine, now is the time to increase our efforts by ramping up communication strategies and community interventions with the goal of promoting optimum health for our clients and restoring a sense of normalcy to Jamaica,” said Executive Director of JASL, Kandasi Levermore.