12 organizations helping Caribbean countries during the pandemic

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Although the world is still drastically impacted by the pandemic, certain countries and islands were hit harder than others. The Caribbean and various islands of the North Atlantic Ocean were some of the first places to reopen to U.S. travelers once it was safe. However, many agree that Caribbean islands and various countries are financially dependent on tourism and the need to open was based on economic survival.

As of June 2021, the Latin America and Caribbean islands had over 36 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, attributing to 20% of the cases worldwide. However, many organizations have stepped up to support Caribbean countries in their pandemic responses. From the rollout of vaccines to preparation for access to vaccines, food and water, many organizations are working to minimize the economic and environmental impact of COVID-19 on Caribbean countries.

Get to know some organizations that are leading the charge.

1. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Committed to ensuring all people have access to the health care they need, PAHO is an international health agency for the Americas. The organization focuses on equity, excellence, solidarity, respect and integrity for all people. PAHO closely monitors the countries of the Americas receiving vaccines with up-to-date information on its site.

2. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Credit: ECLAC

Established in 1948, the ECLAC (or CEPAL) contributes to the economic development of Latin America and Caribbean islands. It also reinforces economic ties among the various countries and with other nations of the world.

3. Feed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) has long-standing relationships with food distribution partners in Haiti and growing collaborations with the Dominican Republic. The MannaPack meals are distributed by the organizations and feed 13 countries in the Caribbean. The organization’s international marketplace also supports 583 artisans in the Caribbean.

4. Children of the Caribbean Foundation

Children of the Caribbean Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in Beverly Hills, California. The organization provides relief and assistance to disadvantaged children across the Caribbean in three different categories: education, health care and social development. 

5. Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency

Credit: Cahfsa.org

Established to institute effective sanitary measures for Caribbean countries, the CAHFSA focuses on animal health, such as the absence of disease in animals, and general food safety to promote agricultural trade competitiveness and a stronger market for agricultural communities. Currently, there are 15 Caribbean islands and territories that are members of the organization.

6. Community Coalition of Haiti

Community Coalition for Haiti has been working alongside the people of Haiti for over 25 years, incorporating community-driven solutions in health care, education and community development.

7. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Established to end hunger and ensure access to food for all people, the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean collaborates with agencies and organizations in both the public and private sectors to raise awareness and drive change.

8. Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute

With a focus on agriculture, the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (also known as CARDI) prioritizes the rights and needs of workers. The organization also helps introduce new food suppliers to the region to reduce hunger and poverty.

9. Caribbean Community

Credit: Caribbean Community

Caribbean Community is one of the oldest organizations still in existence seeking to unify and empower a collection of Caribbean countries, including the Bahamas, Suriname and Guyana. Caribbean Community works to improve living and work conditions for people in the Caribbean. It also works to advance economic development and increase international competitiveness.

10. Inter-American Development Bank

IDB offers both financial and technical support to Caribbean countries in an effort to reduce poverty. It focuses on promoting health and education while also creating more advanced infrastructure that is sustainable and environmentally conscious.

11. International Fund for Agricultural Development

According to IFAD, “80% of the women, children and men living in extreme poverty live in rural areas, not cities.” Given this staggering statistic, the organization invests resources specifically in rural people and communities, helping to develop strong economies and sustainable workforces.

12. World Food Program

The World Food Program is a game-changing humanitarian organization that uses food assistance to create stability and prosperity in places recovering from conflict and/or natural disasters. The WFP has 20,000 staff worldwide and works in over 80 countries, including Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

If you liked this post, check out 6 Caribbean-founded LGBTQIA+ organizations you need to follow and support.

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