United States Supports Wide Range of Efforts in Guatemala to Improve Pandemic Health

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Brian Adam
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In April 2020, the United States government committed $ 2.4 million to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Guatemala.

The United States is proud to support the Government of Guatemala and the alliance between the two countries in the joint fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. US government programs support a wide range of efforts in Guatemala to improve the health, safety, and prosperity of the Guatemalan people in this unprecedented situation:

  • In January 2020, the United States Finance Corporation for International Development (DFC) signed, together with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, a memorandum of understanding to catalyze private sector investment of up to $ 1 billion for three years, to support the development in Guatemala.
    • Since the memorandum of understanding was signed, DFC has worked diligently with the private sector to identify and advance projects to create deep development impact in Guatemala. DFC currently has nearly $ 500 million in projects in its portfolio or under review, including loans to small and medium-sized businesses, women-owned businesses, energy infrastructure, and affordable housing.
    • In addition, DFC recently issued a call for proposals under a new Health and Prosperity initiative, to invest up to two billion dollars in response to COVID-19 and to strengthen health capacity in developing countries, such as Guatemala.
  • In April 2020, the United States government committed $ 2.4 million to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Guatemala. The US government, through USAID, is working closely with the Guatemalan government, international humanitarian partners, and other stakeholders to identify priority areas for investment. These funds are being used to:
    • Case management to strengthen clinical care and minimize the risk of transmission.
    • Prevention and control of infections in health facilities.
    • Public health screenings at various national entry points, such as airports and border crossings.
    • Communication campaigns to help educate people on the steps they can take to prevent and respond to the spread of the virus.
    • Surveillance to help identify cases and quick response to track them, in communities and across the country.
    • Additionally, USAID provided about $ 10,000 in supplies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in Patzún.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to assist countries requesting assistance with the activities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Latin America, CDC has a large regional office in Guatemala, which has been providing technical assistance to Guatemala and the region through activities including contact tracing, epidemiological investigation, and strengthening of its laboratories. In addition, in Guatemala, the CDC has provided the following assistance to deal with the COVID-19 crisis:
    • They provided laboratory supplies, as requested by the Guatemalan National Health Laboratory, valued at more than $ 100,000. Currently, additional funds are being provided by the US government to purchase more laboratory supplies and equipment.
    • They provided training on the clinical management of COVID-19 to some 3,000 Guatemalan medical professionals.
    • They distributed N95 masks and medical supplies to the temporary hospital in Parque de la Industria and the Ramiro de León Carpio shelter, valued at about $ 18,000, and are making efforts for more acquisitions.
    • They provided hundreds of hours of technical assistance for response activities, including visits to hospitals, evaluation of Personal Protective Equipment, development of training for health professionals, and work on mathematical models.
    • Approximately $ 1 million of additional CDC funds will arrive in the coming weeks for more public health activities.
  • The McGovern-Dole International Food Program for Education and Child Nutrition, funded by the US Government, has provided Guatemala with more than $ 198 million since 2003 to support education, child development and food security. For the fiscal year 2020, Guatemala is one of 11 priority countries that are eligible to receive up to about $ 25 million in US government funds to support these initiatives.
    • During the COVID-19 crisis, this program received permission for children to receive rations of food to take home so that children in Guatemala would not go hungry due to school closings.
  • In 2020, the US Embassy in Guatemala has issued more than 1,800 H-2 visas to Guatemalan citizens, of whom more than 550 have already travelled to the United States to seek legal job opportunities – all to support and enhance the prosperity of the people. Guatemalan.

Guatemala’s long-term investment in health and development in Guatemala includes more than $ 2.6 billion in total US assistance, which includes $ 564 million in health, over the past 20 years. Ambassador Arreaga said: “The United States is committed to the health and prosperity of the Guatemalan people. We are working in partnership with the Guatemalan government to combat the COVID-19 outbreak and look forward to continuing our joint efforts in a wide range of programs and projects to improve the lives of all Guatemalans. ”

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