August 6th 2020, Port of Spain: The European Union Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago today announced the award of a grant of TT$1.7M (approx. EUR 212,000) co-financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the TT Red Cross Society, to provide support to the migrant population. The EU contribution (EUR 185,000) is a part of the EU’s Team Europe funding initiative, developed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences and is in keeping with Delegation’s human rights strategy.
The grant, which will be implemented by the T&T Red Cross Society over a period of 18 months, will be used to provide food, mental health and psychosocial support, as well as child healthcare screenings for 500 migrant families. The funds will also be used for communications - to provide critical health and security information to migrants; to boost the Red Cross’s overall humanitarian response mechanism, and as well to more effectively coordinate the organization’s activities with other stakeholders involved in assisting migrants.
Ambassador of the EU Delegation, Aad Biesebroek stated: “COVID-19 is not just a global health crisis. It is also an economic and social crisis as well. Very early on in the pandemic, the EU realized that to tackle this crisis required a global approach. It was important for us to be able to mobilize resources to ensure that the most vulnerable among us would not be the most negatively impacted. Here in Trinidad and Tobago, the migrant population has a limited safety net – and this is why we believed it was important to partner with the TT Red Cross to provide this additional support.”
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Raphaël Varga van Kibéd, added: “The Kingdom of the Netherlands is pleased to be able to contribute to this very much needed project and make funds available, specifically for the training and education components.”
Beyond support to migrants, the EU has already supported the fight against the pandemic in the region with a EUR8M grant to CARPHA for protective equipment, lab material, staff treatment and vaccines. Additionally, support was provided to civil society organisations to continue their work on family violence, through the SPOTLIGHT programme.
The EU is committed to continue to dialogue with the Government and partners around the world to address the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.