From left are: Port St. Maarten Business and Development Marketing Manager Lela Simmonds, Head of the Department of CPS Eva Lista-DeWeever, and Program and Development Manager of St. Maarten Development Fund Melanie Choisy (Photo: Breanna Barrie).
PHILIPSBURG--Through a facilitated effort between Royal Caribbean Cruises, Port St. Maarten, and the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) was the recipient of US $25,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to combat the local spread of SARS-CoV-2 and support its vaccination efforts.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and upon seeing the alarming uptick in cases, Royal Caribbean Cruises reached out to Port St. Maarten to donate US $25,000 worth of PPE to St. Maarten. SMDF was later entrusted to facilitate this effort, which involved launching a public tender in search of local suppliers of quality PPE. SMDF worked directly with CPS representatives to identify their specific needs, preferences, and quantities of items required.
Following communications, it was determined that the items in short supply at CPS included face masks and shields, gloves in various sizes, hand sanitizer, alcohol, disinfecting – wipes and solutions and cleaning supplies.
Upon completion of the tender process, local businesses Divico Distributors, Martijn Trading, and Watkan Trading were selected as recipients of the bid and quickly proceeded with sourcing and delivering the relevant PPE items to CPS. Due to the pandemic, suppliers faced global shortages of certain items alongside delayed shipping times. Nevertheless, the project was recently completed in June 2021. Now, the acquired PPE will go towards minimizing the exposure of COVID-19 to the island’s healthcare workers and consequently the persons they tend to.
“As an organisation, we seek to facilitate development efforts however we can. It was a pleasure to assist with this initiative between Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the government of St. Maarten,” said Makhicia Brooks, Managing Director of SMDF.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley thanked the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for its generous donation of PPE supplies during these trying times. “PPE supplies are a necessity to protect the safety of our front liners, who have been diligently working to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ottley said.