PM Douglas gets support from Brussels for CARPHA, requests assistance for St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Haiti

EU headquarters

BASSETERRE/BRUSSELS, NOVEMBER 12, 2010 (CUOPM) – A request by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas for support for the establishment of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has been heard in Europe.

During a meeting at the Brussels headquarters of the European Commission, Prime Minister Douglas also requested assistance for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas and for Haiti being affected by a cholera epidemic.

European Commissioner, Mr. Andres Pieblags, on Wednesday pledged support for the establishment following the meeting in Brussels with a CARICOM delegation led by Dr. Douglas, who is also the lead CARICOM Head of Government for Human Resource Development, Health and HIV/AIDS.

Prime Minister Douglas was accompanied by CARICOM Secretary-General His Excelelncy Sir Edwin Carrington and Assistant Secretary-General in the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Edward Greene under whose Directorate CARPHA falls.

The details for expediting the EU support for the regional agency are being worked out between technical teams from the CARICOM Secretariat and the European Commission.CARPHA is a consolidation of five regional health institutions into one public health agency and is scheduled to become a legal entity by the end of 2010.

The European Commissioner commended CARICOM for conceiving and implementing an integrated regional health facility that would not only maximise the effective delivery and sharing of services, but would be a true example of how regional integration could function more efficiently through the rationalisation of resources.

During the discussions, Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the Chair of the OECS raised the dire plight of St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas, that has left widespread damage and loss of lives.

He also referred to the outbreak of cholera in Haiti that is also exacerbated by further damages caused by Hurricane Tomas and urged the EU to provide urgent relief to these countries.

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