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Pan-American Health and Education Foundation

The Pan-American Health and Education Foundation, better known as PAHEF, was created in 1968 by the larger Pan-American Health Organization in order to focus on specific health-related projects in the region. The project aims to achieve the Millennium Development Goals set out by the UN by supporting education and research on the state of healthcare in Latin American countries. Though a separate organization, PAHEF shares the same ultimate goal as PAHO, which is the provision of adequate healthcare for the region.

To date, PAHEF has invested over 60 million dollars in projects in many countries including Argentina, Chile, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, and Brazil. Their projects range from educating women and children on healthy lifestyles, to donating medication to treat River Blindness, to providing assistance in structural reform for the reduction of violence in cities.

The organization partners with both private organizations and governments throughout the region as well as research institutions abroad, like Johns Hopkins University and the Gates Foundation, to carry out their work. While PAHEF does not focus on creating projects itself, it offers its services and fundraising capacity to others to help achieve sustainable goals within the region. This falls in line with the now-prevalent philosophy that it is far better to facilitate countries in developing their own sustainable solutions  than direct short term external intervention.

– Farahnaz Mohammed
Source: PAHEF, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SciDev.net