With a new grant from Boeing, PADF will teach hundreds of teachers and reach thousands of students across Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Panama.
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma quickly became the strongest recorded Atlantic hurricane ever, with wind speed - and consequential destruction - rivaling that of a tornado. As it pummeled Caribbean islands, many communities were so damaged that they had to completely evacuate, as in the case of Barbuda. Only a few weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed Irma's path, knocking out power and road access to many parts of Puerto Rico.
During the same month, two earthquakes devastated the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and then in the Mexico City area. The two earthquakes reduced dozens of buildings to piles of rubble and damaged countless others. The first, which struck the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, was Mexico's strongest earthquake in a century, with powerful aftershocks that were felt for days.
PADF has been orchestrating strategic disaster response since its conception in 1962. We have responded to over 70 of the hemisphere's worst disasters in the last 50+ years. When determining our response to these disasters, we take a number of different criteria into account: How can PADF best serve the most vulnerable affected individuals and communities? Will the solution be sustainable and practical? What practices can we employ that will help communities become more resilient than before the disaster, thereby reducing their risk for future disasters?
Juchitán, Mexico. After an initial assessment of the earthquake's damage, we are supporting Centro de Atención Múltiple No.8 (C.A.M. No.8) in Juchitán with our reconstruction effort. C.A.M. No.8 is a school that serves students with disabilities and has been instrumental in raising awareness to the need of inclusion of these disadvantaged students in society. Certain damaged areas of the school are at higher risk of crumbling and must be replaced. PADF is helping the school with demolition of damaged infrastructure, replacing water tanks, repairing utilities and, most importantly, rebuilding the main classrooms and therapy room. Our focus is helping to restore normal routines for the students, thereby keeping them in school and advancing their education.
Mexico City area, Mexico. The PepsiCo Foundation has donated $500,000 to be used in the Mexico City area, which has a metro population of over 21 million. PADF has conducted on-the-ground assessments of the damage. We will keep all stakeholders informed as the ground assessment informs our response.
Puerto Rico. PADF has focused on Puerto Rico as a geographic for intervention, given its long list of complex post-disaster needs. In Puerto Rico, we are working with local and international stakeholders to identify our area of intervention. The PepsiCo Foundation has also supported the disaster response in Puerto Rico by donating $500,000 to be pooled with individual contributions.
We will post updates as recovery efforts develop in each of these areas. Thank you again for your donation and for supporting post-crisis communities. With your help, we will support the most vulnerable people in these areas, seeking to make their communities safer and more disaster resilient than ever.
Recent Disaster Preparedness Projects:
Boa Vista, Roraima (2 de fevereiro de 2018) - A Fundação Pan-Americana para o Desenvolvimento - PADF e a Fraternidade - Federação Humanitária Internacional, têm o prazer de receber o Embaixador Riccardo Savone para inaugurar duas importantes iniciativas humanitárias financiadas pelo Fundo Canadá de Apoio a Iniciativas Locais que ajudarão refugiados e imigrantes venezuelanos no estado de Roraima.
O Sr. Savone, o Embaixador do Canadá no Brasil, irá inaugurar oficialmente uma clínica e uma escola moveis para refugiados e imigrantes venezuelanos abrigados no Centro de Referência ao Imigrante em Boa Vista, em uma cerimônia às 11h na segunda-feira 5 de fevereiro. O Sr. Savone será acompanhado pelo Capitão de Mar e Guerra Réal Brisson, Adido de Defesa, e a Segunda Secretaria Nadine Khoury. A clínica e a escola foram construídas em containers adaptados com capacidade para atendimentos básicos de saúde e sala de aula.
“Por causa do agravamento da situação econômica, política e humanitária na Venezuela, mais de 30,000 venezuelanos e venezuelanas já cruzaram a fronteira para Roraima, buscando melhores condições”, disse Paulo Cavalcanti, o Representante do País da PADF no Brasil. “A PADF está liderando uma resposta internacional para melhorar a qualidade de vida dos refugiados e agradecemos o apoio do Canadá às iniciativas”.
As instalações implementadas pela PADF, servirão aos imigrantes e refugiados no abrigo, que são indígenas. A clínica fornecerá um local privado e higiênico para que médicos e enfermeiras de agências governamentais e organizações sem fins lucrativos tratem os problemas médicos que os imigrantes e refugiados presentam.
Enquanto isso, a escola permitirá que as crianças recebam educação primária e que os adultos recebam cursos profissionalizantes e de idiomas. As aulas na escola serão ministradas por voluntários da ONG local Fraternidade – Federação Humanitária Internacional, da Universidade Federal de Roraima (UFRR), da Casa de los Niños e também professores indígenas.
Ao mesmo tempo, o Sr. Savone anunciará oficialmente um novo projeto com a Fraternidade e também apoiado pela PADF, para doar kits de alimentos e produtos de higiene para mais de mil venezuelanos vivendo no Ginásio Tancredo Neves no bairro Caimbé, também em Boa Vista. “Os venezuelanos a quem servimos, a maioria dos quais são indígenas, têm várias necessidades, como alimentos, alojamento, serviços de saúde, trabalho e assistência legal”, disse a Clara dos Santos, missionária coordenadora da missão da Fraternidade em Roraima.
Os dois abrigos são coordenados pelo Coordenadoria Estadual de Defesa Civil, órgão do governo de Roraima que está liderando e organizando a resposta local. A PADF a Fraternidade irão trabalhar em estreita colaboração com a Defesa Civil, o Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para Refugiados (ACNUR) e outras agências e organizações internacionais e locais para garantir que os imigrantes e refugiados venezuelanos recebam os serviços que precisam.
A Fraternidade Federação Humanitária Internacional é uma organização de ajuda humanitária sem fins lucrativos, com base em Minas Gerais, que realiza missões humanitárias para servir aos mais necessitados no mundo. Desde novembro de 2016, tem fornecido serviços essenciais para venezuelanos morando em Roraima, como alimentos, alojamento, serviços de saúde, cursos, atividades recreativas e assistência de emprego.
A Fundação Pan-Americana para o Desenvolvimento é uma organização não governamental com sede em Washington, DC e escritório de representação no Brasil. Desde o seu estabelecimento pela Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA) em 1962, a PADF tem trabalhado em todas as regiões da América Latina e do Caribe para ajudar as pessoas vulneráveis e excluídas, inclusive refugiados e imigrantes. A PADF já atendeu a milhares de pessoas deslocadas em países como a Colômbia, Haiti e Brasil.
A PADF e a Fraternidade agradecem a Defesa Civil e a ACNUR pela sua coordenação para fazer destes projetos uma realidade. Para mais informações, acesse o site www.padf.org/helpmigrants.
Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil (February 2, 2018) - The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation are proud to welcome Ambassador Riccardo Savone to inaugurate two pressing humanitarian initiatives funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) that will assist Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Brazil’s Roraima state.
Mr. Savone, the Ambassador of Canada to the Federative Republic of Brazil, will inaugurate a clinic and a school for Venezuelans refugees and migrants living at the Immigrant Reference Center in Boa Vista at ceremony on Monday, February 5 at 11 a.m. Mr. Savone will be accompanied by Captain Réal Brisson, Army, Navy, and Air Force Attaché, as well as Nadine Khoury, Second Secretary for Political and Public Affairs. The school and clinic were constructed from converted shipping containers.
“Due to the worsening economic, political, and humanitarian situation in Venezuela, more than 30,000 Venezuelans have crossed the border into Roraima, searching for better conditions,” said Paulo Cavalcanti, PADF’s Country Representative in Brazil. “PADF is spearheading an international response to improve their quality of life, and we are grateful for Canada’s support to this initiative.”
The school and clinic, implemented by PADF, will serve primarily indigenous migrants and refugees at the shelter. The clinic will provide a private and sanitary location for doctors and nurses form government agencies and non-profit organizations to treat medical problems.
Meanwhile, the school will allow children to receive primary education and allow adults to receive language and workforce preparedness classes. Classes at the school will be led by volunteers from local NGO Fraternidade, the Federal University of Roraima (UFRR), and the Casa de los Niños, along with indigenous professors.
At the same time, Ambassador Savone will officially announce a new project with Fraternidade, also supported by PADF, to provide food and hygiene kits to more than 1,000 Venezuelans living at the Tancredo Neves Gymnasium in the Caimbé neighborhood, also in Boa Vista. “The Venezuelans we serve, the majority of whom are indigenous, have myriad needs such as food, housing, healthcare, employment, and legal assistance,” said Clara dos Santos, head of Fraternidade’s mission in Roraima.
The two shelters are coordinated by the State Civil Defense Office of Coordination (CEDEC), the state government agency leading and organizing local response. PADF and Fraternidade will work in coordination with CEDEC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and local and international agencies and organizations to ensure Venezuelan migrants and refugees receive the services they need.
Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation is non-profit humanitarian assistance organization based in Minas Gerais that sends humanitarian missions to serve the needy around the world. Since November 2016, it has been providing essential services for Venezuelans living in Roraima, such as meals, refuge, health services, recreational activities, and employment assistance.
The Pan American Development Foundation is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Washington and a local office in Brazil. Since its founding by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, PADF has worked across Latin America and the Caribbean to assist vulnerable and excluded individuals, including refugees and migrants. PADF has helped serve the needs of thousands of displaced people in Colombia, Haiti and Brazil.
PADF and Fraternidade thank CEDEC and UNHCR for coordinating to make these projects possible. For more information about this project, visit www.padf.org/helpmigrants
In conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), PADF organized four events in the Bahamas to eliminate gender-based violence. The events gathered neighbors, police, and community leaders to discuss the most pressing issues related to gender-based violence. Convening together allowed neighbors to speak up - in some cases for the first time - about issues that have largely been accepted as a cultural norm.
The Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response. Pervading gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development.
The discussions did not exclusively focus on violence against women. The victims of gender-based violence, as it was pointed out, can be men as well.
Intolerable Global Facts on Gender-Based Violence:
- In developing countries, only half of women aged 15-49 make their own decisions about consensual sex or use of contraceptives.
- In 2012, half of all female victims of intentional homicide were killed by an intimate partner or family member.
- Research also shows that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict
Achieving violence-free households and communities will require intentional efforts and cooperation from civil society, governments, and police authorities.
“By increasing awareness and uniting the right people, communities can identify actionable steps to eliminate gender based violence," said Roberto Obando, Program Director of the Caribbean at PADF. "Together, we can prevent violence from happening and react appropriately when it occurs.”
Events took place in Cat Island, Exuma Island, Long Island, and New Providence Island during the second week of December, 2017.
More Bahamas News
#16days, #OrangeTheWorld, #EndGBV
Nassau, Bahamas (December 5, 2017) — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is hosting four events in the Bahamas to combat gender based violence with funds from the U.S. Government.
The events seek to unite local police, raise awareness and discuss issues surrounding violence against women and girls. Gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development. The Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response.
“Violence against women plagues communities in the Bahamas,” said Roberto Obando, Program Director of the Caribbean at PADF. “By increasing awareness and uniting the right people, communities can identify actionable steps to eliminate gender based violence. Together, we can prevent violence from happening and react appropriately when it occurs.”
The events are part of the Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND), an 18-month project which seeks to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, the justice sector and communities to respond to and prevent gender based violence in the Bahamas.
PADF will hold conferences in Nassau, Exuma, Long Island and Cat Island, coinciding with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW). This year, the IDEVAW campaign focuses on “Leaving no one Behind,” especially women and girls who are underserved and marginalized, including victims of disaster and conflict.
“Violence against women is a global problem,” said Penny Rechkemmer, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. “Our hope is that through WIND events, stakeholders will receive the tools needed to take the message of prevention back to their own communities. We are also committed to providing nonprofits in the Bahamas with the information needed to succeed and grow.”
All events are free. Registration is required. To participate, please e-mail email@example.com.
Nassau, New Providence
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
9:00 am - 3:15 pm. Registration starts at 8:30 am
The Paul Farquharson Center
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 9:30 am
The Resource Center
Friday, December 8, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 9:30 am
Clarence Town Long Island
Saturday, December 9, 2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 8:30am
Knowles Media Center
The Pan American Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. In the last decade, PADF has reached more than 92 million people, investing over $600 million in development resources throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.padf.org.
Repost from the interview by Terry Inskip of the OAS Federal Credit Union.
Tell me a little about the origins of PADF and the work it does.
PADF started back in 1962 as part of the Alliance for Progress in the Americas, the result of the joint vision of president John F. Kennedy and the Organization of American States, that neighbors can work together to solve development issues and support the most vulnerable. Using the expression ‘a rising tide’, the idea was that if we could promote peace and development it would be good for everyone.
And that vision is more relevant today, if anything: even if we’ve experienced wonderful economic development over the past 55 years, there is still tremendous inequality, political turmoil, such as in Venezuela; and there are new forces at work that we had not seen vividly in the past, such as climate change and how to adapt to it, how to build resilient communities around the hemisphere and the world.
I think the PADF is uniquely positioned, focused as we are on this region, Latin America and the Caribbean to have the broad view of what needs to be done; and, we’re partnered with all the right stakeholders: governments, the private sector, local, NGOs, and communities, all the stakeholders that must come together to address these complex issues in a sustainable way.
Is there or are there currently any PADF projects that personally hit a nerve with you, in a good way. Something that made you feel that PADF was making a difference in the hemisphere.
Definitely. There are actually several. I wouldn’t have joined the Foundation if I hadn’t been taken by it. I see this work as something that is going to engage my mind, soul and heart, and there are several projects right now that do that.
One is literally in our back yard. I’m referring to the disaster in Puerto Rico. We have a grant from PepsiCo to do recovery and reconstruction, and part of the work that I’ve gotten personally involved with is trying to figure out what is going on, on the island, and to figure out how we can be most helpful. Not just on immediate response, where a lot of people have jumped in, but on the reforms needed partners for reconstruction, so that the island can be remade better than it was before. This is an aspirational vision of mine.
And, of course, while Puerto Rico has three and a half million people, and is one of the largest islands hit, let’s not forget about the people of Antigua and Barbuda, or the people of Dominica, or the people in Mexico affected by the earthquakes. In this “summer of disasters” it falls on us in every way to be there for people.
Another project that strikes me personally is in Northern Brazil, where PADF is supporting some of the indigenous population fleeing Venezuela. The situation in Venezuela is becoming increasingly dire, and we’re providing in a small way: a school, and a clinic built in repurposed shipping containers, helping these people who so much need it, trying to remove the strain they’re placing on the local community where they are right now. Now they can receive basic primary healthcare and schooling -some of them have never been to school before, children or adults- as these people live a very heart-rending humanitarian crisis.
These refugees represent a much smaller group than those fleeing into Colombia but, maybe because they are indigenous, they have not registered on the mental map, if you wish, of crisis management. This is why we work to help them.
I could go on; we’re working on democracy and self-governance throughout South America, we also work with youth and local law enforcement in programs for crime prevention, to help keep youth in schools and out of gangs, by creating opportunities for them. These issues are crucial across the hemisphere, including the United States.
How would you describe the Foundation’s culture?
Flexible, nimble, a staff that’s incredible. I am so impressed with the people here. They go above and beyond their work descriptions, they are hard-working, committed and passionate about their work.
Part of what I love already working here is the big Latino family feeling. We’re a family. Even though I’ve only been at PADF a short time, I feel adopted, people talk to me about all sorts of things. They have all sorts of traditions, like Thanksgiving lunch, and Christmas gift-giving, and dressing up for Halloween. I can’t wait to put on a costume!
By Avelene Chuang, Diplomatic Fellow at PADF. She works with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan. Before joining PADF, she served as a desk officer on Thailand and Myanmar affairs at the ministry. At PADF, she is especially focused on supporting projects sponsored by Taiwan.
A Guatemalan community is celebrating something that's made the whole community safer: a paved road and walkway.
El Campanero is a low-income community in Mixco, Guatemala that is highly vulnerable to flooding and landslides. Instead of properly draining away, torrential rains erode the community’s steep muddy paths and create unsafe walking and transportation conditions for those who live along the steep embankments, including the elderly, young children, people with disabilities, and disadvantaged families. For thousands of Guatemalans living in poor and marginalized communities like El Campanero, the rainy season poses a serious danger to the residents’ lives, their homes, and prospects for a better future.
Guatemala is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to disasters. In Guatemala City alone, over 800,000 people are considered at high risk to landslides. Because of the country’s rugged terrain, many communities are built on precariously steep hillsides and are considered particularly vulnerable to disasters as a result of heavy rain, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
On September 23, 2017, community members inaugurated a newly paved road constructed largely by the community members themselves. For the first time, they can climb up and down concrete stairs using a secure handrail and walk along a road with drainage constructed to withstand the next severe storm.
For more than 500 of the neighborhood’s residents, the new road means improved access to their homes. It also means a weight lifted off their shoulders. Now, whenever rain falls it will be efficiently channeled down the hillside through high-capacity drainage canals and into the ravine below. Previously, the rain would have saturated the ground, eroded the soil, and toppled homes perched along the hillside. Community members on the steep hillside no longer have to live in fear of such events.
PADF carried out this infrastructure project with generous financial support from Taiwan. Through its project “Yo Me Preparo” (I’m Getting Prepared, in English), PADF has worked closely with the Municipality of Mixco to help residents become more resilient to disasters. With Taiwan’s assistance, PADF improved the ability of 36,000 people across Mixco to prepare for and recover more quickly from disasters. This work focused on building disaster resistant infrastructure, providing training to disaster response teams, and organizing disaster preparedness and response brigades. PADF investments also allowed residents of vulnerable communities to become certified disaster responders within the Guatemalan natural disaster response system (CONRED). PADF led community engagement and discussion forums that enabled residents to identify, map, and prioritize disaster risks and to develop their own strategies to reduce those risks.
Similar to Guatemala, Taiwan is highly vulnerable to landslides as it is regularly hit by typhoons and earthquakes. In fact, a World Bank report also places Taiwan as one of the world’s most at-risk countries to natural hazards. In light of this, communities across Taiwan have formed disaster preparedness and response brigades. These brigades are highly organized, trained, and equipped to deal with life-threatening events. Taiwan has also made substantial investments in disaster resistant infrastructure–including roads, bridges, and high-capacity drainage systems. These investments reduce the negative effects of disasters and allow the Taiwanese people to bounce back more quickly from extreme events.
As Taiwan has developed its own disaster resistant communities, it is also committed to helping international communities to mitigate the effects of disasters. Taiwan has partnered with PADF to sponsor disaster risk reduction projects across Latin America and the Caribbean, including in Haiti, Honduras, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, and Guatemala.
In Guatemala, Taiwan’s support through PADF enabled community members to obtain the necessary tools, machinery, supplies, and technical experts to complete the infrastructure construction project. Meanwhile, members of the community identified the street and selected the construction site based on the high level of danger it posed to those living there. They then provided the manual labor for widening the path, relocating electrical poles, excavating the drainage canals, and paving the walkway.
“What I consider most inspiring about this community is that women have really led the way throughout the entire process. Most of those doing the heavy lifting were actually women. Anyone who doubts the ability of women to build better, more resilient communities hasn’t met the women of El Campanero,” says PADF Technical Manager Lucia de España. “Every day, women and men worked side by side to construct this street. Today we celebrate their strength and dedication to creating a better future.”
The El Campanero community thanks Taiwan for its financial support and PADF for coordinating the project and making their community a safer place. Ambassador John Lai of Taiwan to Guatemala also extended his appreciation at the event to everyone involved in the project to make it possible.
After five months of construction, community members have a paved concrete road and a sturdy 70-step stairway. Thanks to the partnership between Taiwan, PADF, the Municipality of Mixco and other local partners, the El Campanero community members can safely access their homes without looming concerns of insecurity during the rainy season.
PADF and Taiwan
Washington, DC (30 de outubro de 2017) – A Ministra das Relações Exteriores do Canadá Chrystia Freeland, em uma reunião do Grupo de Lima, realizada em Toronto, anunciou a quinta-feira, 26 de outubro, que o Governo do Canadá e a Fundação Pan-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (PADF) trabalharão juntos para melhorar as instalações médicas e educacionais para imigrantes e refugiados venezuelanos no estado de Roraima, Brasil.
Como consequência da crise política, econômica e humanitária na Venezuela, cerca de trinta mil venezuelanos e venezuelanas já imigraram para o Brasil e a maioria tem decidido se estabelecer no estado de Roraima. Eles precisam de abrigo, atenção médica, educação e outros serviços. Graças ao apoio do Canadá, a PADF fornecerá uma escola e uma clínica para o maior abrigo no estado, o Centro de Referência ao Imigrante, localizado no bairro Pintolândia em Boa Vista, capital do estado.
“Os venezuelanos e as venezuelanas que fugiram das péssimas condições na Venezuela têm buscado refúgio em Boa Vista”, disse Luisa Villegas, Diretora Sênior Assistente de Programas na PADF. “Porém, os serviços públicos voltados à população estão sobrecarregados pelo fluxo de recém-chegados. A nova clínica e a escola terão espaços privados dedicados a atenção médica e a aprendizagem, servindo a centenas de pessoas deslocadas pela crise no seu país natal”.
“Nós devemos continuar apoiando a população venezuelana – em defesa dos seus direitos humanos e suas necessidades básicas” disse a Honoravel Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Ministra das Relações Exteriores do Canadá. “E à luz do fato de que os efeitos da crise se espalharam além das fronteiras da Venezuela, o Canadá também fornecerá aproximadamente CAD $ 35,000 para melhorar os serviços de saúde e educação prestados aos 480 venezuelanos abrigados no Centro de Referência ao Imigrante, em Boa Vista, no Brasil.”
O abrigo atual é um ginásio que foi convertido em abrigo que, atualmente, carece de espaços para a educação e para os serviços médicos. As instalações proporcionadas pela PADF levarão comodidades modernas, materiais educativos e suprimentos médicos.
O Centro de Referência ao Imigrante fica a cargo de missionários e voluntários da Fraternidade – Federação Internacional Humanitária. É o maior abrigo no estado de Roraima e atualmente aloja 480 imigrantes e refugiados venezuelanos, dos quais aproximadamente 75% são indígenas e 50% são crianças e jovens. A clínica e a escola são duas das várias necessidades que o Centro tem, como consequência do fluxo de recém-chegados que precisam de ajuda.
Esse apoio é parte de um esforço maior por parte da PADF para responder à crise de imigrantes e refugiados no Brasil. Como uma organização sem fins lucrativos, filiada à Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA), a PADF está liderando uma campanha internacional para ajudar às instituições locais e ao esforço de auxílio aos refugiados. A PADF já lançou uma campanha para arrecadar US$100.000 para apoiar aos abrigos locais e aos venezuelanos refugiados através de contribuições de instituições governamentais, fundações, entidades filantrópicas e pessoas físicas.
Para mais informações sobre este projeto, visite a www.padf.org/helpmigrants.
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 30, 2017)– The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced Thursday at a meeting of the Lima Group in Toronto that the Government of Canada and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) will partner to improve education and medical facilities for Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the Brazilian state of Roraima.
In the wake of the political, economic and humanitarian crises in Venezuela, an estimated 30,000 Venezuelans have emigrated to Brazil, and the majority have settled in the northern state of Roraima. They urgently need shelter, medical care, education and other services. Thanks to Canada’s support, PADF will provide a school and a medical clinic to the state’s largest shelter, the Immigrant Reference Center, located in the state capital Boa Vista.
“Venezuelans fleeing poor conditions have sought refuge in Boa Vista,” said Luisa Villegas, Deputy Senior Programs Director of PADF. “However, local systems have been strained by the influx of recent arrivals. The new clinic and school will create private and dedicated spaces for learning and medical attention, serving hundreds of people displaced by the crisis in their home country.”
“We must continue to support the Venezuelan people – in the defense of their human rights, and in their basic human needs,” said Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada. “And in light of the fact that the effects of the crisis have spread beyond Venezuela’s borders, Canada will also provide approximately CAD $35,000 to improve health and education services provided to the 480 Venezuelans sheltered at the Immigrant Reference Center in Boa Vista, Brazil.”
Facilities provided by PADF will be complete with modern amenities, classroom materials and medical supplies. The current shelter space has been converted from a gymnasium to a shelter and lacks dedicated medical and educational space.
The Immigrant Reference Center is operated by missionary volunteers from Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation. It is the largest shelter in Roraima and currently provides housing to 480 Venezuelan refugees and migrants, approximately three quarters of whom are indigenous. About half are under age 18. The school and clinic are two of the Center’s many needs given the influx of newcomers requiring assistance.
This assistance is part of PADF’s larger effort to respond to the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis in Brazil. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States, PADF is leading an international campaign to assist local institutional institutions and relief efforts and has launched a campaign to raise US$100,000 to support local shelters and displaced Venezuelans through contributions from government institutions, foundations, philanthropists and individuals.
For more information about this project, visit www.padf.org/helpmigrants