Basseterre, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis – On the recommendation of the ECCB Board of Directors, the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has approved grant funding, in the sum of EC$4.0m (EC$500,000 each), to the ECCB Member Governments, to help in their fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The ECCB is fully cognisant of the potential economic, financial and social impact of COVID-19 on member countries. Half of the grant was disbursed on 13 March to purchase testing and other critical equipment to detect, contain and manage COVID-19. The remainder will be utilised to procure equipment and supplies such as ventilators and drugs through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS PPS), a bulk procurement mechanism.
In commenting on the decision, the Chairman of the Monetary Council, Dr The Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance for Grenada noted: “we are facing an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our countries are very appreciative of this thoughtful and practical gesture by the Bank”.