SOUTHCOM, US Embassy Security Cooperation Office, Assist Honduras During COVID-19 Pandemic
By Steven McLoud/Diálogo May 21, 2020
Some 700 Honduran families are benefitting from humanitarian aid kits delivered by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to the National Risk Management System (SINAGER, in Spanish) of Honduras on May 8.
These 700 hygiene kits contain soaps, toothpastes, brushes, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, and shampoo and were taken to prioritized sectors of Honduras.
The donation was made in response to the request by the Honduran government agency of the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO, in Spanish) for supplies to have on hand to respond to emergencies due to the rainy season.
Since the COVID-19 crisis began in Honduras in mid-March, the Security Cooperation Office (SCO) of the U.S. Embassy in Honduras through SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) has donated more than $150,000 worth of medical supplies, hygiene kits, and personal protection equipment (PPE).
In late April, SOUTHCOM also delivered to COPECO a disbursement of PPEs for SINAGER, which was later distributed among the first response personnel working on the front lines combatting COVID-19.
U.S. Air Force Colonel Francisco Rivera, SCO chief in Honduras, made the delivery. Those PPEs consisted of 1,500 KN 95 masks, 5,000 Nitrile gloves, 65 gallons of hand sanitizers, 1,500 medical gowns, and six infrared thermometers. In addition to SINAGER and COPECO, donations have also gone to the Honduran National Pulmonary Hospital and the Salvador Paredes Hospital.
“Over the last decade, SOUTHCOM has steadily built COPECO’s capacity in Honduras through a series of HAP projects,” said Col. Rivera. “From 2010 to 2020, HAP funds were used to construct regional Emergency Operations Centers/Disaster Relief Warehouses (EOC/DRW) for COPECO regional offices in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Gracias a Dios, El Paraíso, Atlántida, and Choluteca.”
These facilities, which display commemorative plaques highlighting SOUTHCOM’s donation, are currently fully equipped to respond to natural and man-made disasters, Col. Rivera added. For COVID-19, each EOC/DRW is currently activated and providing assistance.