HOUSTON, Jan. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. (SBF), a non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, awarded seven grants totaling $100,000 to nonprofits that expand access to medicine, health care services, and health education to vulnerable individuals in and from Venezuela. The grant winners were recognized at an SBF function hosted at the CITGO headquarters in Houston, Texas.

"We seek to empower these seven inspiring organizations that have boots on the ground with resources that will have an immediate impact," said CITGO Chairwoman Luisa Palacios. "These are just the first grants of a new program that seeks to create a network of hope to lessen the suffering of individuals affected by the complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela." 

The following seven organizations were awarded SBF grants for the following projects:

Working to improve the nutrition and health of vulnerable children and pregnant/lactating women in Venezuela, the project promotes the prevention and treatment of child malnutrition through training and support to communities and health workers.

Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation Colombia
Working to benefit approximately 350 migrant Venezuelan women, the project increases access to health care services, helps reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, and helps prevent complications in high-risk pregnancies.

Cuatro Por Venezuela
Working to provide folic acid and iron supplements to approximately 200 pregnant women in Venezuela, this project will help prevent premature birth and low birth weight in newborns. A second project will provide specialized medication to help prevent organ rejection in people who have received organ transplants.

Driscoll Children's Hospital
Focusing on Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) in newborns, this project, led by Venezuelan doctors, will help implement an efficient CCHD screening in Venezuela and improve the current diagnostic gap of this severe birth defect.

Latin Ladies Foundation of Houston
Focusing on individuals in Venezuela with Huntington's Disease, this project will lessen their suffering by providing much needed sanitary supplies and nutritional supplements.

Saludos Connection
Working to repair and update two damaged operating rooms and a pre-anesthetic area, this project will return these rooms to functionality, which both increases capacity to treat patients and provides space for critical training hours for medical students. A second project will recognize and incentivize doctors who are voluntarily providing medical services to children in the remote areas of one of the poorest states in Venezuela.  

Providing direct medical, dental and vision care though its charitable clinic in Ecuador, this project provides free, priority access for 300 Venezuelan refugees. It will also raise awareness of this service within the Venezuelan refugee populations in Ecuador to ensure continued access to high-quality medical care.

The SBF small grants program was launched in October 2019 in tandem with SBF's goal of becoming the catalyst that enables organizations to connect resources and capabilities to effectively meet the humanitarian needs of Venezuelans and Venezuelan refugees displaced by the humanitarian crisis. For more information, please visit http://www.simonbolivarfoundation.org.

About the Simón Bolívar Foundation
The Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. was established in 2006 as the 501(c)(3) non-profit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The SBF serves as a catalyst to transform lives by connecting non-profits and community leaders to better improve the quality of life through the support of health initiatives. The SBF supports new initiatives, leverages existing resources and invests in organizations to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable. The SBF supports those in need in and from Venezuela as well as the communities in which we live and work in the United States.

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