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 Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 31, 2020 (SKNIS): At a brief but significantly ceremony on Monday, August 31, 2020, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated ten (10) ventilators to St. Kitts and Nevis in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley described the donation as generous, adding that St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States of America (USA) have enjoyed mutually beneficial relations since the Federation’s Independence in 1983.

“This handing over ceremony represents the fruits of diplomacy. Today’s proceedings are indicative that our mutual commitments to strengthen and broaden cooperation remain. We continue to collaborate in a number of integral developmental initiatives in disaster management, energy, youth development, and security and now in health,” said Minister Brantley. “This handing over ceremony is not simply emblematic of one friend assisting another due to the global pandemic. It is in fact, representative of an understanding between friends of longstanding.”

Minister Brantley, on behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, expressed gratitude to the Government of the USA for the contribution in the Federation’s “effort to safeguard and protect the health our most priceless asset – our people.”

United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Her Excellency Linda Taglialatela, who joined the ceremony virtually, used the occasion to personally express thanks and appreciation to front line workers.

“I want to thank the hundreds of health providers, civic leaders, manufacturing workers and all others in St. Kitts and Nevis who have worked tirelessly to manage the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Ambassador Taglialatela. “This is a challenging time for our country, and I am proud that our partnerships stand as strong as ever.”

Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett also expressed gratitude to the Government of the USA for the donation.

“We are truly grateful for the assistance that is being rendered by the United States of America. I am truly thankful as this would help our health services to continue to move forward as we fight COVID-19,” said the minister. “More ventilators mean that we have more beds in cases of an emergency but we are praying that we continue on our path where we are able to keep the curve flattened and that we don’t have too many persons who would have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.”

The health minister assured Ambassador Taglialatela that the ventilators would be put to great use.

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