The good relations that Medellín has built with different countries and cities over time, allow it to better address the economic and health crisis created by COVID-19. Thousands of deaths and millions infected have forced local and national governments to activate their bonds of friendship in the world with the sole aim of safeguarding the life and integrity of people.
Thousands of medical utensils and equipment for the care of critically ill patients have arrived in Medellín from different parts of the world.
Faced with this critical situation, few alternatives emerge as a light of relief to weigh the social and economic effects that all continents are facing. Although borders of countries have been closed for tourism or business, another very important door has been opened with more stregnth: international cooperation.
ACI Medellín, together with local and national partners from the public and private sectors, has undertaken an important mission for the management of resources to better address the health crisis.
This type of support, commonly known as Technical Cooperation, facilitates the resolution of common problems through exchange of knowledge and donation.
So far the city has received 3,000 protective suits from the municipal government of Seoul, South Korea; and 100,000 quick tests for Covid-19, 300,000 gloves, 30,000 masks, 10,000 shoe protectors, 3,000 disinfectants and 2,000 food packets, from the United Arab Emirates.
In addition, other donations from:
- Chongqing (China): 940 protective suits, 1,000 N95 masks, 990 surgical gowns and 10,000 surgical masks.
- Shanghai (China): 1,000 gloves and 100 surgical gowns.
- Chuncheon (Korea): protective suits and masks.
- Grenergy Company (Spain): 50,000 masks.
Likewise, since the beginning of the pandemic, approaches have been made with other governments and international entities to request their support on different fronts:
- For medical supplies such as mechanical ventilators, beds for sintensive care units – ICUs; or reagents and strips for sample taking: Seoul and Chuncheon – South Korea, Wuhan, Chongqing – China, Embassy of Colombia in China, Embassy of Russia in Colombia and of Colombia in Russia, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
- For support on technology tools versus platforms to tackle COVID-19: Government of Singapore and Embassy of Colombia in Singapore.
- For food aid: Government of Barcelona, United Nations World Food Programme.
- For scientific cooperation, clinical trials and vaccine: Contact with Moderna, UK Embassy in Colombia – Jenner Institute, Oxford University, England.
Governments, businesses and individuals have united since the beginning of the pandemic around a common goal: protecting life.
Finally, the private sector, international investors and natural persons have shown their commitment to the city:
- MABE (Mexican multinational), donated 200 antifluid booths for medical personnel.
- The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), through a cooperation agreement with the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, allocated $346 million for the payment of monetary contributions to 450 families of migrant, refugee and host populations. UNHCR also donated essential supplies to the most vulnerable households and shelters in the city.
- Donatón Medellín: ACI Medellín achieved $156 million pesos for medical supplies. Among the main donors are Grupo EMI, Grupo Réditos and Globant.
- POMA (French company): provided the city with vehicles to transport food and medical equipment.
- Volunteer Doctor: through the Sos Paisa network for antioquians who are abroad, Carlos Alviar Restrepo’s visit was accomplished; director of the ICU for cardiology at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, who came to give technical advise from his experience and work in ICUs in the United States.
The effort involved in management with governments and companies is not equated with the satisfaction of fulfilling the duty of caring for the people of the city and ensuring that, in the midst of such a complex situation, we are vigilant to strengthen alliances within and outside the city for our wellbeing.