Events / News

Published on 18/12/2020

Communities Leading Development (CLD) project connects communities and resources during COVID-19 pandemic

Category: News,

At the heart of the CLD project is cultivating, connecting and working with alliances to mobilize resources that enable communities to respond to their own priorities. Through these efforts and the resulting relationships, CLD has been able to influence allied organizations’ response to COVID-19 and connect communities with much-needed resources. CLD’s roles in these responses is of linkage, coordination, and monitoring to ensure that the most vulnerable communities are reached in an effective manner.

From May 9  to May 20, CLD´s strong community monitoring system served as a tool to identify and connect communities with a donation of 3,736 boxes for the same number of families containing food and hygiene products, valued at over $124,500 USD, financed by CMI, CLARO, CBC and Banco Industrial,  and operated by United Way Guatemala,  for communities in Quiché, Huehuetenango, San Marcos and Totonicapán.

The global crisis generated by COVID-19 is affecting not only the health of the population but has also caused a significant economic impact. Today, vulnerable families like those participating in the CLD project are unable to go out to work to earn wages to pay for food. The effort brings much-needed aid to families living in these areas who have lost their jobs and/or livelihoods due to the COVID-19 emergency. CLD is using information from its community monitoring systems to influence donors like United Way to reach vulnerable population in CLD-covered areas.

This is really a big support; many in my community live in extreme poverty. Right now, we don’t have work; this is the only help we have received since the beginning of the emergency,” said Miguel Angel Uz, a participant from El Chaj, in the municipality of Uspantán, Quiché.  

United Way Guatemala is a private non-profit development organization that promotes the development of the most vulnerable people and communities in Guatemala. The organization relies on the direct participation of the country´s companies to support the “El Amor en Caja” program. Boxes containing cooking oil, sugar, cornmeal, rice, salt, beans, pasta, oatmeal, tomato sauce, soap and ethyl alcohol provide 5-15 days of food for a family.

Families received donations thanks to a combined effort, triggered by CLD´s linking of communities, municipalities, donors, and COCODES. CLD provided guidelines to COCODES to ensure compliance with security measures indicated by the government and by CRS such as the use of cloth face-coverings, physical distancing of at least 1 meter, use of alcohol-based hand rub and avoiding the presence of high-risk populations. The communities’ resource management skills, combined with a strong monitoring and information systems, developed by the CLD project were key to access these resources.  CLD continues connecting communities with donors, private sector and central government to capitalize community capacities and raise their voice to communicate their needs.