MSI Partners with USAID/OTI in Response to COVID-19
MSI, A Tetra Tech Company, is partnering with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) to help the governments of Armenia and Colombia strengthen their capacity to handle crisis communications during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapid assistance is also being provided to local governments and at-risk populations with the provision of targeted supplies, equipment, and technical support and mitigate impacts.
In Armenia, as part of the OTI Armenia Support Initiative (ASI), MSI is helping the Government of Armenia (GoAM) with crisis communications. Since the government declared a state of emergency on March 16th, ASI has supplied a key strategic communications office within the GoAM with laptops to create public information products. In addition, on the government’s behalf, the project hired a short-term social media specialist to help manage social media platforms that are critical to dissemination of timely information, and develop a public health-oriented video animator. To help the government convey reliable information to the public, we also printed 20,000 posters, leaflets, brochures and other public outreach materials.
We are also working in Armenia to provide support to regional governments in their COVID fight. The program is providing one thousand food and hygiene care packages to be distributed by a regional administration to support hard-hit vulnerable families and elderly citizens.
On the other side of the world, the USAID/OTI Colombia Transforma program is enhancing the Government of Colombia’s (GOC) ability to communicate information on COVID-19 and government response through a targeted communication activity with the Ministry of Health (MoH). In partnership with the MoH, Transforma supported the development and airing of radio messages in marginalized rural areas in 30 municipalities. These messages provide guidance on risk mitigation measures and actions that vulnerable citizens can take in response to COVID-19.
In the department of Nariño, Colombia, critical services are overwhelmed. Local hospitals are particularly stretched as they struggle to support a region that has been ravaged by 50 years of conflict, and handle an influx of patients from Ecuador, where the health system has collapsed. MSI has worked closely with the municipal government to provide supplies and equipment to hospitals in areas where a COVID-19 outbreak could be especially dangerous. The provision of these items will increase the hospitals’ ability to serve over 7,000 people in four critical areas on the Pacific coast and Ecuadorian border.