Donating anticovid vaccines, increasing funds to serve Venezuelan migrants and not falling into disinformation are, broadly speaking, the three central recommendations for both the United States and the rest of the international community raised in the new report produced by the Atlantic Council Thought Center.
The text was the result of a joint work of the group of Colombian and US authorities who are looking for strategies to get out of the crisis that is currently hitting Colombia.
(In context: Colombia and Latin America will be priority in vaccines: United States)
First, the group, which includes US congressmen and former ambassadors in this country, argues that provide Colombia with sufficient doses of vaccines against covid-19 it is key because it could accelerate the economic recovery and limit the reasons that have exacerbated the social protests that have been taking place since last April 28.
According to the authors, while the six million doses that Washington has promised to distribute in Latin America are an important contribution, they are not enough to tackle the problem. In contrast, they say, China has provided 165 million.
“More vaccines from the US will help increase the percentage of the population fully vaccinated, which currently reaches only eight percent,” they say after noting that vulnerable communities such as indigenous or Afro-Colombian should be prioritized.
The report indicates that while the country has contracts to purchase 72 million vaccines, it has only received 12 million so far. However, this Monday The US announced that it will donate additional doses to Latin American countries (another 14 million) including Colombia.
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Greater efforts in the face of the Venezuelan migration crisis
Second, the authors argue that the aid that the international community has given for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is the poorest in all of modern history. To put it in context, they emphasize that while in Syria almost US $ 21,000 million have been donated in aid for refugees, for the neighboring country only US $ 1,400 million have been contributed.
“Given their similarity in both size and evolution (both have left five million displaced in five years), the disparity is puzzling.
In per capita terms, affected countries such as Colombia have received about US $ 256 per migrants, which is less than a tenth of the US $ 3,150 per person that has occurred in Syria on average “, they affirm not without first underlining that 32 percent of that diaspora has arrived in our country and that, despite the difficulties economic, the government goes to great lengths to accommodate them.
“The US should increase its financial, technical and diplomatic assistance to Colombia and other countries that respond to the crisis amid the covid pandemic. This not only supports peace and stability in the hemisphere but also prevents the increase in Venezuelan migrants arriving at the southern border from the deterioration of the situation in Venezuela and the other host countries, “the report reads.
The Atlantic Council It also says that those who make decisions, namely Congress and the Joe Biden administration, should make efforts to inform themselves of the situation.
“Although people in the US receive important information about Colombia through social networks and traditional media, the version of events is incomplete. It is essential that the international community remains connected with key actors (congressmen, businessmen, civil society), as well as independent experts to better understand the situation on the ground, “says the text.
The report adds that Helping Colombia is vital to the interests of the United States.It is not only one of the best allies in the region, but also a strategic one for solving the great challenges facing the hemisphere. Among them, the crisis in Venezuela, drug trafficking, organized crime and security in Central and South America.
The report was written by Jason Marczak and Camila Hernández of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Latin America at the Atlantic Council. But it is the result of a strategic planning meeting in mid-May of the US-Colombia Working Group created by the Council to guide US policy toward the country.
This group is comprised of former Ambassadors William Brownfield, Anne Patterson, Kevin Whitaker, and Michael McKinley. Likewise, it includes the congressman Rubén Gallego (the only Colombian in the US Congress), and the former undersecretaries of state for the Western Hemisphere, Arturo Valenzuela and Roger Noriega.
On the side of the think tanks are Cynthia Aronson of the Wilson Center, Michael Shifter, of the Inter-American Dialogue, Steven Donehoo of McLarty Associates, and Muni Jensen, of the Albright Stonebridge Group, among others.
The group also includes Colombian personalities such as former ministers Mauricio Cárdenas and María Claudia Lacouture, Andi’s president, Bruce Mac Master; the president of the Santo Domingo Group, Alejandro Santo Domingo; and the president of the National Federation of Coffee Growers in North America, Juan Esteban Orduz.
SERGIO GÓMEZ MASERI
EL TIEMPO correspondent
On Twitter: @ sergom68
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