Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The Ministry of Health and Social Development has solidified its working relationship with the Red Cross by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The signing took place on Thursday, June 23 to establish a framework for strengthening the operational partnership between the offices of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, the Social Development Department, and the British Virgin Islands Red Cross.
The MOU provides a broad framework and agreed principles for mutual cooperation and coordination between the parties in preparation for and responding to disaster relief situations at all levels, in rendering assistance and service to victims of disaster, as well as other services for which cooperation may be mutually beneficial.
The MOU would also guide the establishment of Information Sharing Agreements in respect of specific projects or activities, under the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 2021.
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Marlon Penn, and British Red Cross Country Manager for Overseas Territories, Mr. Kevin Studds, witnessed the signing of the MOU by Permanent Secretary, Ms. Petrona Davies; Director of the BVI Red Cross, Ms. Stacy Lloyd, and Chief Social Development Officer, Mrs. Annie Malone Frett.
“I would like to extend my appreciation to the Ministry. We continue to work very closely and I appreciate the support. The work that we do is for the vulnerable individuals in the Territory and so the partnership is a win for them and I am happy that we have arrived to this day where we officially solidify our relationship,” Ms. Lloyd said.
Mr. Studds also shared his sentiments on the occasion saying, “The international Red Cross organisations all have this formal auxiliary role to the authorities. The BVI Red Cross has always had a strong relationship with the Government and to see this formalise in an MOU, I think that is always very valuable.”
Honouable Penn thanked the team for the collaborative work carried out over the years. He specifically noted how closely the Ministry and Red Cross worked during Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the COVID-19 pandemic in offering support to the vulnerable. “We expect that the singing of the MOU solidifies that relationship, the sharing of information and data, and the partnership that we have developed over the years. I am happy to be here to support this and I look forward for the strengthening of this relationship as we move forward with this partnership,” Honourable Penn concluded.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to strengthening social protection policies and programmes, which aim to reduce poverty and inequality, while improving economic security in the Virgin Islands.