HOUSTON, April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. ( Simón Bolívar Foundation ), the non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, is awarding up to $200,000 to five non-profit organizations working in health-focused initiatives for vulnerable Venezuelans as part of its COVID-19 Small Grants Program.

The organizations include Chamos in Aid of the Children of Venezuela, Friends of the Children of Venezuela, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Central de Venezuela, I Love Venezuela Foundation (Ven Da Tu Mano) and American Venezuelan Engagement Foundation Inc. and were selected from a pool of 14 early applicants through a competitive review process administered by an experienced advisory committee. 

Mariela Poleo, President of the Simon Bolivar Foundation, stated that the number of applicants "is a testament of all the hard work and goodwill of the non-profit community in Venezuela as well as of the charitable organizations established by the Venezuelan diaspora in the United States, Europe and the rest of Latin America that are focused on helping with Venezuela's complex humanitarian emergency."

The projects receiving grants will help mitigate the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela by providing hygiene and water purification supplies to nutritional centers feeding vulnerable populations, delivering personal protection equipment and medicines to hospitals in the main cities, developing a telemedicine initiative SOS Telemedicina, and donating food provisions to meal programs for children throughout the country. 

Together, these donations will translate into immediate and much-needed help for more than 100,000 people, 184 soup kitchens and community centers, and 9 hospitals in 15 states in Venezuela.

Maria Cecilia Sanchez Silva, President of Ven da tu Mano said, "The most exciting part of being an awardee is the opportunity to act and work for our people in Venezuela" after finding out her organization's project had been selected. 

The Simón Bolívar Foundation recently modified its mission and goals to focus on providing access to funding, capacity building, and empowering nonprofits that expand access to medicine, nutrition and wellbeing to vulnerable individuals in and from Venezuela.

The special round of its Small Grants Program dedicated to alleviating the damaging effects of the coronavirus crisis in Venezuela was announced last month. The Simón Bolívar Foundation advisory committee continues to evaluate initiatives submitted for review during the regular application period and will announce more COVID-19 Small Grants in early May. 

Final awards for the grantees are contingent on full due diligence and execution of the grant agreement.

About the Simón Bolívar Foundation
The Simón Bolívar Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The Foundation supports initiatives, leverages existing resources and invests in organizations to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable individuals particularly in and from Venezuela with a special focus on the health and well-being of children and their mothers. 

About CITGO 
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the fifth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 4,700 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.

SOURCE CITGO Corporation