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Health Sector to receive injection of 7.8 million euros

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been granted 7.8 million Euros to assist with the development of the services in the Health sector.{{more}}

The 10th European Development Fund Agreement made between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the European Union for the 2008-2013 period was made official on December 3rd 2008 with a signing of documents at the Cabinet Room.

The agreement, which focuses predominantly on improving the health sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines also provides financial support for emergency cases.

Addressing the media, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves explained the specifics of the agreement.

The agreement is made up of two envelopes: Envelope A, which proposes an allocation of 80 per cent of the 7.8 million Euros or EC$26.5 million to aid in extensively improving the services in the Health sector over the long term. This includes the incorporation of Information Communication Technology in health information systems, the finalization of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan and review and update of health sector legislation.

Another 10 per cent will be allocated towards the non-focal sector and includes assistance providing technical corporation and facilities to support the private sector.

Envelope B proposes an allocation of 1.9 million Euros to aid in unforeseen emergency situations in cases that cannot be funded by the EU budget.

The Prime Minister also said he intends to pay a great deal of attention to the public sector especially to the poor. “I want to emphasize that under this particular intervention there will be exemptions to the poor, to make sure that they are well protected,” he said.

There are also plans to implement health programmes promoting healthy lifestyles and the reduction of hypertension and diabetes. Environmental issues such as maintenance and waste management will also be tackled.

The Head of the Delegation of European Commission for the Eastern Caribbean, His Excellency Valeriano Diaz also expressed his dedication to supporting the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, stating that the EU will do their best to ensure the continuation of the partnership. (OS)