WASHINGTON, DC – This week, U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) and Antonio Delgado (NY-19) wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power requesting emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development assistance to help Cabo Verde fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cabo Verde is a lower-middle-income island off the coast of West Africa with a population of 540,000. While the country had relatively few COVID-19 cases at the start of the pandemic, cases spiked in April of this year. In March, Cabo Verde received its first batch of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines from COVAX–an initiative led by the World Health Organization, Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. However, the nation does not have enough supply to reach herd immunity.
In September 2020, the U.S. provided more than $1.5 million to Cabo Verde to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic. According to reports from the Cabo Verdean American community in New York, the need for assistance continues and more aid will be required for the country to recover.
“Cabo Verde has faced difficulty kickstarting robust vaccination campaigns and currently has only vaccinated 0.2% of its population,” wrote the Members. “We therefore respectfully request that when determining your foreign aid allocations and COVID-related assistance, Cabo Verde, a vulnerable nation isolated from mainland Africa, receives the support it needs to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to read the full letter to Secretary Blinken and Administrator Power.
Reps. Jeffries and Delgado are the only two members of Congress who descend, in part, from Cabo Verde