October 22, 2019


AVSI is proud to be among the outreach partners in the BetterTogether, JuntosesMejor, Challenge, an initiative officially launched on October 21 to help refugees and migrants throughout Latin America and the Caribbean


On Monday, October 21 at Florida International University in Miami, AVSI-USA’s President, Ezio Castelli, was among the distinguished guests participating in the official launch of a $13.5 million initiative to support Venezuelans across the region.

The BetterTogether, JuntosEsMejor, Challenge is a joint initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). With this new partnership, USAID and IDB will provide $13.5 million to crowdsource, fund, and scale innovative solutions that support Venezuelans inside the country, Venezuelans across Latin America and the Caribbean, and the communities hosting them.

Ezio Castelli confirmed AVSI Foundation’s commitment to support the BetterTogether Challenge as an official outreach partner. 

Photo by Davide Bonaldo

Distinguished guests included Alexis Bonnell, Chief Innovation Officer at USAID and John Barsa, Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at USAID. Representing the IDB was Irene Arias Hofman, CEO of the IDB Lab, Eliot Pedrosa, United States Executive Director at the IDB, and Gina Montiel, Venezuela Executive Director at the IDB.

In addition, his excellency Carlos Vecchio, Ambassador of Venezuela to the United States gave introductory remarks on the situation on the ground. A number of other dignataries including the President of FIU and numerous United States representatives also contributed with their calls to action. 

As a platform for collaboration and additional partnerships, the BetterTogether Challenge will pool knowledge and resources, gather local insights, host co-creation events, and build a marketplace of tested, market-ready solutions to help Venezuelans and the communities hosting them. Applications for funding will address four focus areas: people, productivity, services, and finance.

BetterTogether may award grants, loans, and equity investments. Beyond financial support, awardees will be eligible for other benefits, including technical assistance, access to networks, and publicity. The funding levels are below:

  • Tier 1, Ideas: Up to $25,000 to develop and test an early-stage idea. 
  • Tier 2, Prototype: Up to $250,000 to pilot and assess an existing prototype in the regional crisis context.
  • Tier 3, Validation: Up to $500,000 to test broader market readiness for successfully piloted solutions.
  • Tier 4, Scaling: Up to $1,500,000 for solutions with demonstrated commercial viability or public sector partnerships in the regional crisis context, which is required to leverage additional external funding.
 Currently, solutions can be implemented in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

BetterTogether will augment the U.S. Government’s ongoing support to Venezuelans in Venezuela, as well as Venezuelans who have fled and the generous communities hosting them through Latin America and the Caribbean. The Challenge also complements IDB’s broader support to countries hosting migrants in the region. 

As an outreach partner, AVSI Foundation is committed to sharing information about the better together challenge through our wide network of contacts globally and being a resource for potential partners. 

For more information please contact us:  infoavsi-usa@avsi.org

To apply or contribute as a partner for the BetterTogether Challenge, visit:

Follow the Challenge on Social Media
Hashtags: #TogetherVE and #JuntosVE

Current projects supporting Venezuelans in ECUADOR AND Brazil

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