Fundación MAPFRE allocates over 800,000 euros to alleviating the impact of Covid-19 in Colombia
This year, the organization has extended its extraordinary budget in Latin America to 10 million euros to help combat poverty and social exclusion. In Colombia, its projects include: Launching the Fundación MAPFRE Food Box. Providing support for vulnerable women. Integrating visually impaired people into the workplace.
Fundación MAPFRE has approved an extraordinary budget for 2021 in order to tackle the emergency situation and socioeconomic crisis that Colombia is experiencing in the wake of COVID-19.
This aid is part of a total provision of 10 million euros for Latin America, which Fundación MAPFRE will use to undertake over 60 projects, through which it hopes to help over 230,000 people.
In Colombia, the organization will participate in numerous activities aimed at reducing malnutrition and social exclusion, as well as contributing to the economic recovery of vulnerable populations, helping to integrate people with visual disabilities into the workplace, and acquiring medical supplies.
Malnutrition and basic food needs
According to the FAO, the COVID-19 pandemic will bring about an unprecedented food crisis affecting more than 85 million children in Latin America. The Fundación MAPFRE Food Box was launched in Colombia with the aim of providing high-quality nutritional supplements to malnourished children aged 10 and under. The supplements are delivered to recipients every two weeks for 6 months, as part of a food box that also contains an educational toy for children.
This initiative is carried out in conjunction with the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (Colombian Family Welfare Institute — ICBF).
Moreover, in collaboration with Alliance for Solidarity, resources including food packages, prevention kits, disinfection kits for institutions, and medical supplies with a total value of 200,000 euros are being delivered to Colombia’s capital of Bogotá and five other municipalities in the department of Cundinamarca (Soacha, Zipaquirá, Madrid, Mosquera and Chía), in order to protect people’s rights to food and well-being.
In addition, 300,000 euros’ worth of food packages are being provided to families for 3 months, prioritizing the territories most affected by COVID. This initiative, carried out with ABACO (Asociación de Bancos de Alimentos de Colombia — Association of Colombian Food Banks), is estimated to help around 18,000 people across some 4,500 families.
Training for women
Fundación MAPFRE will contribute to the economic recovery of vulnerable individuals, placing special focus on women, who have the worst employment figures, earn lower salaries and, in many cases, have insufficient income to feed their families. More than 220,000 euros will be allocated to this initiative.
Integrating visually impaired people into the workplace
Integrating people with any form of disability into the workplace is another of the objectives that Fundación MAPFRE has established for 2021. Many people with disabilities, who are among the most affected by the pandemic in Latin America, live in places where there are hardly any social programs to help them. In Colombia, and in collaboration with FOAL (Fundación ONCE para América Latina — a foundation supporting blind people in Latin America), Fundación MAPFRE will provide a three-month training course for visually impaired people. It will also provide eight intern scholarships at local companies to help facilitate their integration into the world of work, and will adapt job positions for those interns.
Acquiring medical supplies
Fundación MAPFRE obtained 10 hospital beds to treat COVID patients at the Fundación Cardioinfantil (a children’s cardiology foundation in Colombia). In collaboration with Clínica Palmira, medical supplies were purchased (six high-flow devices and six five-parameter monitor units), which expanded the organization’s capacity to care for COVID patients.
In addition, medical supplies were purchased to address the lack of oxygen and patient transport needs of patients affected by COVID-19. In collaboration with San Martín de Porres Chocontá Hospital, materials were purchased including 10 portable oxygen regulators, 5 CGA connection oxygen regulators for 6-cubic-meter tanks, and isolation capsules.
Antonio Huertas: “No one can stand in the way of solidarity”
“We hope things will change and for the better. No pandemic is going to stop us from keeping our commitment to social progress,” said Antonio Huertas, President of Fundación MAPFRE, who referred to this extraordinary provision of 45 million euros over two years as a “plan aimed at saving as many lives as possible and protecting the most vulnerable in society and those fighting coronavirus on the front line.” Furthermore, he noted that the Fundación, which in 2020 encountered “the greatest challenge” in its 45-year history, is also supporting research and helping to prevent an increase in poverty and inequality caused by the social consequences of the virus. This is all with the help of its volunteers, who will provide their support once again in this endeavor. “When it comes to solidarity, once the ball gets rolling, there is no stopping it,” he said.