The Virgin Islands will receive about $362,000 in funding from the United Nations Covid-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund, government announced Tuesday.

The funds will contribute to the income support programme established by the government to assist vulnerable residents affected by the pandemic, according to Government Information Services.

It will be accompanied by technical assistance provided by the International Labour Organisation, the World Food Programme, and UNICEF to enhance residents’ employability and boost social protection.

“The UN has been an indispensable partner of the British Virgin Islands since the onset of the global pandemic,” Premier Andrew Fahie said. “This new round of funding support and ongoing technical assistance from multiple UN agencies is a reflection of the maturing relationship between the British Virgin Islands and United Nations.”

The Covid-19 MPTF Fund was launched by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in 2020 to provide support to governments after the outbreak of the pandemic.

The VI will receive the funding through a joint programme that falls under the UN (Covid-19) Multi-Sectoral Response Plan for the Eastern Caribbean, and that includes the VI and Antigua and Barbuda.

UN forum

The VI also participated last week in the United Nations 13th Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr. Fahie announced on his Facebook page.

At the session, the territory’s “work plan for inclusive social development for the year” was considered, according to the premier.

The VI currently serves as one of the vice presidencies of the Directive Board of the Regional Conference on Social Development along with countries including Barbados, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Uruguay.

During the forum, which was held virtually throughout last week, Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone also advocated for greater participation by associate members like the VI and expressed appreciation for the UN grant.

Last Thursday, Mr. Fahie also participated in the fourth roundtable discussion along with colleagues and government ministers from Bolivia, Mexico, Panama and Ecuador on “effective governance beyond recovery,” and shared the territory’s successes and challenges of managing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Junior Minister for Tourism Sharie de Castro represented the premier at the 13th special emergency meeting of CARICOM heads of government, where the longer-term economic survival of the region was discussed, according to the premier.