On Thursday, January 20, the United States donated a 40-bed field hospital and three utility vehicles to the government of Saint Lucia during a handover ceremony at the St. Lucia Fire Service Training Center in Vieux Fort.
The donation of the field hospital and utility vehicles, valued at more than US$650,000, will help respond to the ongoing pandemic and expand the Ministry of Health’s capacity to address future challenges from natural disasters.
This donation was made possible through the U.S. military’s U.S. Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program. U.S. Ambassador to Saint Lucia Linda Taglialatela joined Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and Mr. Kevin Bostic, U.S. Southern Command Director of Exercises and Coalition Affairs for the handover ceremony. Following the ceremony attendees toured the field hospital with officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and other government entities.
During her remarks, Ambassador Taglialatela said the donation of the field hospital was yet another demonstration of the United States’ commitment to the health and well-being of partners in the hemisphere. She explained, “Here in Saint Lucia, we’re supporting vaccination efforts. We’re strengthening the digital information systems to monitor vaccination coverage. And we’re working with you to communicate that vaccines help prevent serious sickness and save lives. This field hospital will support your rapid deployment of first responders and medical personnel to where they are needed most.”
Prime Minister Pierre thanked the United States for the donation. “Today we are witnessing yet another gesture from the government and people of the United States towards Saint Lucia’s efforts at combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The field hospital will significantly augment Saint Lucia’s physical health infrastructure, enhance our disaster response readiness, and enable the provision of medical assistance in remote areas. But more importantly, at this critical time it will equip the country with a standby capacity to manage any severe variant spike or other emergency” the Prime Minister said.
He added, “I am happy to receive these donations on behalf of the government and people of Saint Lucia.”
In 2021, the United States donated more than 170,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines directly to Saint Lucia.