The Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc., the non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, announced two grants of its Emergency Relief Fund to two nonprofit organizations working in Venezuela to alleviate the effect of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Emergency Relief Fund is a special grant program to provide resources for immediate support to nonprofits with existing agreements with the Simón Bolívar Foundation that was activated at the end of March in response to additional challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic within the existing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. To date, the Emergency Relief Fund has granted more than $125,000 in total.
The awardees, Saludos Connection and Latin Ladies Foundation of Houston, join Cuatro por Venezuela in providing several initiatives of pandemic attention and prevention that facilitate access to health care, medicines, and supplements for vulnerable Venezuelans.
The Cuatro por Venezuela’s project of personal protection equipment (PPE) donations was approved earlier in March given its expedited implementation proposal and the urgent need for medical supplies in the country. The initiative has translated into the purchase and distribution of PPE (including medical-grade masks, gowns, and gloves) throughout Venezuela’s main hospitals and outpatient facilities to protect more than 1,500 health workers on the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak from exposure and infection.
The Saludos Connection grant will provide a community health center in Portuguesa state with funding to support a communication connectivity system, including access to an internet connection, an automated bulk text messaging program, and the activation of a call center that will offer preventive, diagnostic, and follow up telemedicine services to maintain a constant flow of communication with patients. The project will also donate six motorcycles to transport volunteer doctors, allowing them to serve more patients in remote populations. This grant is expected to impact 5,000 families in need.
Latin Ladies Foundation of Houston will deliver sanitation supplies, personal hygiene products, medical equipment, medicines, and supplements to protect at-risk communities in Zulia state from the pandemic.
“We are aware of the serious deficiencies Venezuelans face due to the complex humanitarian emergency existing inside the country and how the situation has worsened with COVID-19; so we continue to support non-governmental organizations in developing concrete initiatives to help alleviate the crisis in Venezuela,” said Mariela Poleo, President of the Simon Bolivar Foundation.
Last week, the Simón Bolívar Foundation announced the award of $200,000 to five non-profit organizations working in health-focused initiatives in Venezuela as part of its COVID-19 Small Grants Program, another special round of grants focused in mitigating the impact of the pandemic in Venezuela. More projects submitted for review are under evaluation by the Foundation’s independent advisory committee to select beneficiaries and will be announced very soon.
The Simón Bolívar Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The Foundation supports initiatives, leverages existing resources and invests in organizations to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable individuals particularly in and from Venezuela with a special focus on the health and well-being of children and their mothers.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels per day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the fifth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the U.S. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 4,700 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding Inc.