Countries have been battling to secure medical supplies to treat COVID-19. Locally, some individuals and now companies have started making masks. Here, some masks made by Theresa Chandler. (GP)
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WASHINGTON – The Organisation of American States (OAS) says governments of the 33 countries of the Americas, including the Caribbean, that are part of the Inter-American Network on Government Procurement (INGP), will have access to the Joint Negotiation Mechanism for the purchase of medicines, medical devices and other goods from the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) to combat novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The OAS said on Thursday this is possible based on efforts that it carried out jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and COMISCA.
“In this way, the countries will have a stronger negotiating position to access better prices and conditions to acquire the materials they need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” the OAS said.
“Given the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the INGP and its strategic partners have assumed the commitment to promote, assist and effectively strengthen the response capacity of member countries facing this emergency situation,” it added.
The OAS said the Joint Negotiation Mechanism is a regional public good that serves to safeguard public health through transparent, accessible and comprehensive public purchasing processes.
The INGP comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
The OAS serves as the Technical Secretariat of the INGP.