Ambassador Fitrell’s New Year’s Letter to Colonel Doumbouya
Dear President Doumbouya and the Guinean people,
It is with great pleasure that I write to you today to share our accomplishments this past year that deepen our bilateral cooperation and support to Guinea. As this year ends, the commitment of the United States government, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State, National Health Institute (NIH), Peace Corps, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), remains strong. We are proud to share a summary of our annual results and impact on the Guinean people with you.
The Value of our Commitment to Guinea
Excluding administrative and technical support, the United States government has invested more than 50 million U.S. dollars to provide technical and material assistance to the Guinean people in areas of health, security, human rights, democracy and governance, and economic growth. At least a million people have benefited directly from our programs across all 38 districts in the country.
2022 Highlights: The United States Government
- Reinvigorated partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Pre-University through new 10-year Memoranda of Understanding. Peace Corps also has a new partner with the Ministry of Youth to support its National Youth Volunteer program.
- Donated 3,001,050 doses of Pfizer vaccines.
- Donated more than 10 million U.S. dollars to conduct Covid-19 activities.
- Provided nearly a quarter million U.S. dollars to Guinean non-governmental organizations.
- Supported Guinean health facilities to resuscitate more than 8,000 newborns.
- Engaged hundreds of thousands of Guineans—including the 302,000 subscribers to the Embassy’s social media channels—on issues of importance to Guinea and the United States, such as human rights, democratic governance, public health, and economic growth.
- Reintroduced 19 Peace Corps trainees to serve in the regions of lower Boké, outer Conakry, Kindia, and Mamou. This latest tranche of volunteers is added to more than 1,750 volunteers who have already served in every region in Guinea.
In collaboration with the Government of Guinea and other donors, our work has contributed to nearly two thirds reduction in malaria prevalence since 2012.
- Supported Guinean health facilities to treat more than 63,000 cases of child diarrhea.
- Provided technical assistance that increased the number of private health structures providing comprehensive family planning services from zero in 2015 to 177 in 2022.
- Distributed nearly 3.5 million insecticide-treated nets to more than one million households.
We supported Guinean institutions in efforts against rabies and measles to control recent and ongoing outbreaks and developed a surveillance evaluation for cross border data sharing and coordinated Marburg and Ebola serosurveys.
With partner organizations, we established a Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) to strengthen workforce capacity to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks. Training has helped national, regional, and local public health systems stop outbreaks before they become epidemics. Each of Guinea’s 38 districts and eight regions now have at least three FETP graduates who are key leaders in epidemiological data collection and analysis and outbreak investigation. More than 98 percent of FETP graduates hold key surveillance positions at the national, regional, and district levels.
Working with the Ministry of Health, we developed the Guinea Clinical Research Program at the Maferinyah Center, a critical research program, to rapidly respond to and combat ongoing and future outbreaks in the country. We funded the center’s core complement of clinical research infrastructure, professional clinical staff, and other supplies and equipment, and it serves as a storage site for Pfizer vaccines and Ebola treatments. We also established Guinea’s first public health Emergency Operations Center, which responds to disease outbreaks and supports vaccination campaigns.
We provided a fully functioning Mobile Diagnostic Laboratory in Nongo and trained technicians to evaluate and diagnose testing samples safely and securely. We worked with the Ministries of Defense and Health to improve the ability of the military to conduct HIV/AIDS viral load testing and minimize the risk of HIV/AIDS infection on military readiness. Our program trained 20 lab technicians and provided supplements for viral load testing, opportunistic infection medications, and condoms.
We provided support to U.S. companies, investors, citizens, and brands, highlighting Guinea’s enormous commercial opportunities across the mining, agriculture, energy, and telecommunications sectors. We assisted more than 50 U.S. companies and investors in 2022 to begin or continue working in Guinea.
American companies are ready to finalize business agreements, to include West Africa LNG for a liquified natural gas terminal and power generation plant in Kamsar; Water Life Systems to develop an eco-industrial park in Dubreka with advanced hydrogen energy operations; the Banknote Corporation of America to work with the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea (BCRG); and Wabtec is ready to submit a proposal to supply locomotives and signaling equipment for the TransGuinean Company’s railway infrastructure project.
We are building an international standard shooting range at the National Police Academy in Boffa to allow the national police to receive international standard instruction and certification in weapons usage and safety. We also funded the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and launched a 24-month program to train 200 officers in Conakry, Kindia, Kankan, and N’Zerekore to improve the Guinean police capacity to manage assemblies during the upcoming elections, in keeping with national and international human rights standards.
We also fund an embedded Specialized Police Instructor who works under a contract worth 250,000 U.S. dollars to provide instruction on law enforcement professionalization.
Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance
The Mission is committed to supporting the democratic governance process in Guinea. We improved civil society engagement/advocacy and media reporting on public health issues. In this last year, continuing our long-term support to the democratic governance processes in Guinea, we
- Trained 139 civil society organizations to engage in advocacy.
- Supported 1,138 peace and social cohesion events, reaching out to 60,015 people including 19,845 women.
- Supported peace-building platforms to help avoid or mitigate local conflicts.
- Updated the political party code of conduct signed by 134 parties from across Guinea.
- Trained 582 journalists to manage misinformation and conducted workshops to strengthen local governance and promote women’s political participation.
- This month we are launching a new 15 million U.S. dollar program over five years to support a transparent, inclusive, legal, political, and electoral process. This project will build the capacity of the electoral management body and local electoral officials, assist with constitutional and electoral reform, provide technical support from legal experts, and train journalists and citizens on recognizing fake news and help them provide accurate, unbiased information.
To ensure we benefit all levels of Guinean society, we also
- Provided nearly seven million U.S. dollars to counter food insecurity in Guinea.
- Facilitated a network for local cashew farmers in Siguiri to learn from other farmers, including a processing facility and warehouse.
- Trained 651 people in rural areas in financial and management skills.
- Supported vulnerable refugee populations and 200 beneficiaries in the Forest Region.
- Conducted a road and traffic safety project.
- Supported a soap making and cloth dying project in Guékédou.
- Trained women in Boké in food processing, harvest management, and seed banking.
- Donated new motorcycles to the Guinea Red Cross to boost operational capacity to provide routine and emergency health services to Guineans.
- Completed a market gardening project in Kindia.
- Trained 200 women in Macenta on palm kernel processing project and soap making and cloth dying.
Guinea-American Connections and Exchanges
- We issued more than 1,000 visas to Guineans to travel to the United States. Among these are 15 acrobats who went and performed for “America’s Got Talent” and made it to the semi-finals! youtube.com/watch?v=H3ls6Nf6bmo
- We invested 90,000 U.S. dollars to provide English language learning and literacy resources for 41,067 Guineans via the Embassy’s American spaces, provided digital skills and business development training for more than 120 Guinean entrepreneurs, and sent seven Guineans to the United States on an International Visitors Leadership Program.
- We increased the capacity of more than 80 Guinean civil society actors and journalists, provided 230,000 U.S. dollars in grant funding to support Guinean civil society organizations
- We invested 500,000 U.S. dollars to send 21 Guineans to the United States to participate in professional development and leadership programs and to pursue graduate study at U.S. institutions of higher education.
This summary is necessarily brief but serves to indicate the breadth and depth of the United States’ commitment to the people of Guinea. We have been steadfast partners since independence, and we are committed to Guinea’s peace, development, and prosperity. 2022 represents a year of both challenge and progress for Guinea and Guineans should be proud of what they have achieved, especially in an era of global recession and a political transition.
Having arrived in January, the end of 2022 marks the end of my own first year in Guinea. In my travels across your rich nation, I have had the honor to meet a diverse array of welcoming and impressive people full of endurance. The pioneering spirit I witness reminds me of the similarities our nations share. My team and I are proud to support the people of Guinea and we look forward to generating additional positive impact in 2023.