In recent months, the Inter-American Dialogue was honored to leverage its network to support our partners’ pandemic response efforts in the Guatemalan communities where we work. Following a generous donation of Covid-19 testing supplies and PPE equipment from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Cities Alliance, the Dialogue was proud to facilitate coordination between regional entities, municipal authorities, hospitals, and donors to prioritize needs and distribute supplies. This support will benefit at least 64,000 people and five hospitals and clinics in the Health District of San Marcos, Guatemala.
These materials were delivered during a ceremony convened on March 4, 2021, in partnership with MANCUERNA, a local entity representing eight municipal governments in Western Guatemala that work collectively to formulate municipal policies and planning, as well as the Municipal Coordination Office for Disaster Reduction (COMRED), Cities Alliance, and UNOPS. Jaqueline Barrios, coordinator for the Dialogue’s Guatemala office, represented the Dialogue at the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Orsival Fuentes, MANCUERNA’s general manager, expressed appreciation on behalf of the institution and shared details about the supplies being donated. Ruben Orozco, director of the San Pedro Sacatepéquez Health Center, highlighted that these donations will help address the supply deficits due to budgetary limitations, and he hopes that, with actions like these, they will be more likely to guarantee the lives and health of staff and patients. To emphasize this point, Patricia Quinteros, representative of the San Marcos National Hospital, shared that these supplies will benefit four municipalities that are among the hardest hit by the pandemic and will protect front-line personnel and their communities.
In 2020, the Dialogue also pushed forward its work in high-migration communities in Guatemala in collaboration with these partners. Through strategies adapted to pandemic conditions, we contributed to building assets among remittance recipients, strengthening entrepreneurship, boosting pre-professional skills among youth, and training local stakeholders to mainstream migration management into development planning.