- Fellows in the News
Nathan Strand: Supporting USAID's work in Colombia
In Colombia and elsewhere, USAID is at the forefront of the US government's efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. As a Contracting Officer working for USAID/Colombia, Nathan Strand (Maxwell, '13) plays a significant role in the US government's response in-country. Since the onset of the pandemic, USAID has kept up and redoubled its efforts to support development programming and humanitarian assistance in Colombia, while adjusting to the evolving situation on the ground. Although the entire country has been on extended lock-down, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota adjusted quickly to full-time telework. Numerous US citizens, including Nathan, were evacuated back to the United States, but continue to work remotely. In addition to maintaining their existing portfolio of contracts and grants to support the Colombian peace process and provide aid to Venezuelan migrants, they are directing additional time and resources towards helping Colombia respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. With approximately 22,000 cases reported as of this week, the risk of overwhelming the health system is severe, as for most developing countries. Nathan and his colleagues expect this COVID-19 response work to continue well into the future, ultimately reshaping a great deal of USAID's work in Colombia and other affected countries.