The specialized agencies of the United Nations have delivered 20 tons of equipment and supplies to indigenous communities in Costa Rica to meet the needs of the people most vulnerable to COVID-19.
The donation includes new clothes, rubber boots, telecommunications equipment, educational materials for children, even necessities such as masks, alcohol gel, baby diapers, and hygiene kits.
The humanitarian aid to the indigenous Ticos was coordinated from the United Nations by its specialized agencies: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund, International Labor Organization (ILO), and the World Health Organization.
In the ceremony of delivery to the indigenous communities of Talamanca, in the Caribbean province of Limón, the UN resident coordinator, Allegra Baiocchi, reaffirmed the international entity’s commitment to Costa Rica for ensuring that the principle of Leaving No One Behind be a reality also for indigenous people.
“We support Costa Rica to guarantee and fulfill the rights of indigenous people who require our backing and humanitarian assistance to face the difficult situation they are going through due to the Pandemic,” said Baiocchi.
The Vice Minister of the Presidency for Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue Randall Otárola pointed out the joint effort between institutions and indigenous peoples since the beginning of the Pandemic to give particular attention to these citizens and added that the inputs received today will improve the conditions of the communities in Talamanca.
The president of the Indigenous Association of Talamanca, Bribrí, Ramón Buitrago, praised the efficient coordination between the Municipality, the Government, and native organizations to fight against this Pandemic.
“For us, this contribution is very important, because the Talamanca Bribrí community has unfortunately had more deaths from this Pandemic and especially of the elderly, who is the wisdom of our peoples,” he said, adding that these kits will help us to reduce this situation.
Official data show that more than 104 thousand indigenous people from the Bribrís, Cabécares, Malekus, Chorotegas, Huetares, Tribes, Bruncas and Ngäbes peoples live in Costa Rica, and between 9 thousand and 12 thousand indigenous migrants Ngäbe and Buglé who temporarily come from Panama to carry out agricultural work, mainly the coffee harvest.