April 2, 2020

ACDI, partner of AVSi in argentina, responds to COVID-19 by promoting food security and sovereignty through family farming

On March 18th, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez imposed a mandatory nationwide quarantine in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, the economy has been hit hard and the people, many of whom already struggle with poverty and hunger, are concerned about how long the quarantine can last before they start to suffer from lost income, job losses and rising debt levels. In Argentina, 49.3% of the economically active population work in the informal sector, making a quarantine especially challenging to livelihoods.

Since July 2017, ACDI, a founding member of AVSI Foundation in Argentina, has implemented community development and family accompaniment programs in three communities in Northern Argentina: Taco Ralo, La Madrid and Monteagudo. Thankfully, these communities do not yet have any registered cases of COVID-19. Still the local authorities are taking every precaution, including closing off access to the towns for outsiders. ACDI is in frequent communication with the authorities to offer a comprehensive containment plan, implementing all the proper measures despite the isolation and resource scarcity that characterize the area.  

ACDI’s COVID-19 response has 4 main components:

1. Ensure that all families have access to official and up-to-date information related to the symptoms, prevention and management of the virus. 

2. Support and advise the development of online resources managed by the local authorities.

3. Offer psychological attention, including best practices for managing anxiety, promoting healthy activities and reinforcing the Family Strengthening Plan for those families that had created one through the program. 

4. Promote food security and sovereignty through family farming, putting into practice knowledge acquired through community development workshops. 

Having worked in these communities for almost three years, ACDI’s project team has established strong links with the 400 families involved in the accompaniment program. These relationships have allowed ACDI to quickly adapt its services towards containing the virus. Containment strategies and tools represent another opportunity for community members to take ownership of their own development with a goal of self-sustainability. 

Because social distancing is a fundamental containment mechanism, the family accompaniment program has used virtual communication to continue its work. Whatsapp and other digital communication platforms allow program staff to keep in touch with beneficiaries and continue to help meet their needs. 

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to learn more about our response to COVID-19 visit AVSI Foundation website