Armed Forces of Colombia and Ecuador Help Local Communities

first_imgBy Marian Romero/Diálogo November 01, 2017 The armed forces of Colombia and Ecuador united for an annual humanitarian operation that provided health, welfare, and recreational services to remote communities of both nations on the shores of the Putumayo River. The Colombia–Ecuador 2017 Binational Development Campaign Aid assisted the populations of Puerto El Carmen, in the province of Sucumbíos, Ecuador, and Puerto Ospina, in the department of Putumayo, Colombia. “In general, we hold the aid campaign in the first half of the year, when the water levels in the Putumayo River rise and it’s optimal for navigation,” said Marine Corps Brigadier General Álvaro Augusto Cubillos Gómez, commander of the Colombian Navy’s Southern Naval Force. “This year [2017] weather fluctuations kept us from getting out to the municipality of Puerto Asís [Colombia] on the ships; but we still fulfilled that commitment.” At the campaign, 57 medical specialists from both countries provided general and family medicine services, as well as specialized treatment such as physical therapy, dentistry, maxillofacial surgery, gynecology, dermatology, urology, psychology, pediatrics, medical ultrasound, and ophthalmology, among others. In addition, they carried out health promotion and prevention services and delivered three tons of humanitarian aid. “Ecuador and Colombia are sister nations that share the river on their border, and they also share the culture of these communities, their peculiarities, and in many cases the same nationality,” explained Colonel Wilson Tualombo Ortíz, commander of the Ecuadorean Army’s 19th Jungle Brigade and coordinator of the support campaign. “In Ecuador, a lot of Colombians came to live on this side of the river, but these are the same indigenous communities of Uitoto, Murui, and Siona, among others, which exist on both sides of the Putumayo River.” The campaign that lasted only a weekend, August 25th–27th, required a huge logistics effort to bring the various units together. From Colombia, the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police, and local and regional authorities participated. In Ecuador, the provincial government of Sucumbíos coordinated the support campaign with other government agencies and logistics support from the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Ecuadorean Army. Recreation, a key point Although health is the main focus of the campaign, the recreational aspect has become a huge attraction for the recipients. Getting needed medical attention from specialists can take all day and long lines form during the event. “We have groups specialized in recreation, as we’ve learned from experience that thanks to them any activity with the community is more enjoyable,” Brig. Gen. Cubillos said. “Dressed up as clowns or through singing, they manage to entertain people, amuse the children and facilitate service outreach for those who are unfamiliar with this type of assistance.” “In Ecuador, we’re impressed by the capacity for care they have in Colombia. Not only because of the health services they provide, but also because of their ability to entertain people throughout the event, keeping the campaign from becoming a tedious experience,” Col. Tualombo said. “We want to create the same recreation groups for our Armed Forces, because they completely change people’s attitude. We’re already in talks with the Colombian Navy to make such entertainment a reality.” Origins of the campaign The idea for holding a binational support campaign originated in 2011. The Colombian Navy already provided some assistance in its territory, but it was clear that many more residents in the region showed similar needs. At that time, the security conditions were risky, because the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were still in the area and attacked health ships. The Binational Development Campaign was created to assist the vulnerable populations of Puerto El Carmen and Puerto Ospina, municipalities where a large part of the area’s population is concentrated. These communities are tight-knit with many Colombians living on the Ecuadorean side of the border and vice versa. On the Colombian side, terrestrial mobilization to the urban centers is difficult due to their remoteness. As such, providing annual support to the region is a priority. “For us, it is very important that the populations of this region identify with their country; that they feel Colombian, and that they are able to perceive the presence of the state,” Brig. Gen. Cubillos said. “Fortunately, the campaign had a wonderful reception and people are quick to respond to the invitation we make over the radio.” The event’s reach has grown substantially since its launch. In 2011, the campaign touched 1,138 people from both countries. The number has more than doubled in 2017, with a total of 8,846 welfare services delivered — in addition to health promotion, disease prevention as well as hair styling, veterinary services, and entertainment. Area residents started associating the river’s rise during the month of May with the arrival of ships and prepare to welcome them. The communities were eager for the 2017 support campaign, as in 2016, the earthquake that shook Ecuador prevented it from taking place. Both armed forces focused on relief efforts for the Ecuadorean people who are still recovering from the effects of the quake. “These campaigns have become a lifesaver for many of the communities that live along our shared border with Ecuador,” Brig Gen. Cubillos said. “Unlike the Ecuadoreans, Colombia’s river communities are [geographically] cut off from the rest of the country, which makes it critical to ensure that this aid gets to them.”last_img read more

​Grandhood eyes UK market after Danish deal ups scalability

first_imgJon Lieberkind and Mathias Bredkjær, co-CEOs and founders of Grandhood“With the Velliv offering our customers can save unlimited with tax deduction in the ‘Livrente’ savings product,” he said.The Velliv collaboration will also allow Grandhood’s customers to choose their own risk profile and a pure ESG pension savings plan, he said.Rather than trying to offer a complete investment service as they had to start with, Lieberkind and Bredkjær said their firm would now concentrate on its strengths as a digital customer interface, while seeking established pensions investment and insurance companies to link up with in other national markets.They said the firm had not yet decided which country to tackle next, but that the UK did seem appealing for a number of reasons.Auto enrolment had made it compulsory for employers to include staff in a pension scheme unless workers opted out, the pair said, adding that the existence of the new system meant there was less need to educate the market about pensions.“Furthermore, we see room for competition with only Smart Pension trying to make a difference in the UK market for workplace pension solutions,” Lieberkind said.Other markets such as Holland, France and Spain could also be interesting as potential expansion locations, he said.“We are mainly looking for countries with strong private sector savings,” Bredkjær said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. “In Denmark you need to hold a life insurance licence in order to be allowed to distribute lifetime annuity savings plans (Livrenter) and life insurance products. Banks are not allowed to deliver these products,” said the firm’s other co-CEO and founder Mathias Bredkjær.“If you want to be relevant and able to compete in the Danish workplace pension market, you need the complete financial product suite that only life insurance companies can offer,” said Lieberkind.With Velliv, he said, Grandhood could now enable customers to gather their legacy pension pots into the product, because it would be able to offer a combination of pure defined contribution (DC) and hybrid defined benefit products, whereas in the Saxo Bank setup it had only been able to offer a pure DC savings product with limited tax deductibility. Danish financial technology firm Grandhood said the deal cut last week with Velliv has turned its product into one that is more scalable and better suited to its international plans, in which the UK could be a prime target.Grandhood – formed in 2017 as a user-friendly digital pension product for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – has now linked up with the long-established and recently-mutualised pension Danish provider to launch a new joint pension product in the fourth quarter of this year.Jon Lieberkind, co-chief executive officer and founder of Grandhood, told IPE: “We want to be the preferred pension partner for freelancers and SMEs globally, but our version 1.0 was not as scalable a solution as the 2.0 version we have now after the Velliv deal.”Up to now, Grandhood has been a licensed asset manager with a partnership with Denmark’s Saxo Bank, but with Velliv, it will become a life-insurance broker with a life-insurance company as its partner.last_img read more