The Isle of Man Government has donated £800,000 to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will be used to support the WHO’s COVID-19 work in Madagascar and South Africa, which forms part of its wider COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
The WHO has identified a number of countries where there are significant funding gaps in tackling the pandemic. Madagascar was selected as it continues the Isle of Man’s efforts to support small islands and countries, particularly those ranked as ‘low development’ on the United Nations Human Development Index. South Africa was selected in view of the current funding gaps in the country’s COVID-19 response, and to reflect the Island’s positive cultural, historical and business links.
The £800,000 in funding comes from an underspend in the 2020/21 international development budget, which was unable to be allocated, with Government focussed on responding to the pandemic.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said:
'We have heard time and again that no one is safe until everyone is safe. A pandemic does not respect nationality or international borders. We must tackle COVID-19 collectively, as a global community. The rapid spread of COVID has shown us how globally connected we are and I am delighted that the Isle of Man can support the World Health Organization in its vital work to respond to the pandemic.'
The funding will be used by the WHO to cover several aspects of the COVID-19 response in Madagascar and South Africa, including vaccine roll out and directing resources to areas most in need. This will include work to suppress transmission, protect the vulnerable, reduce mortality and morbidity, and accelerate the development of the tools the world needs to turn the tide against the disease.