First food supplies to school children arrived in Venezuela, the UN World Food Programme announced
The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) has moved its first food supplies to its logistics hub in Maracaibo, Venezuela, as it prepares to launch its school meals programs for Venezuelan school children in the South American country, which is suffering a humanitarian crisis spurred by an economic collapse.
Speaking today at a news briefing at the United Nations in Geneva, WFP’s spokesperson Tomson Phiri said that “following an agreement that was met earlier this year between the United Nations World Food Programme and the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, the first of food supplies has now been delivered in Venezuela as WFP gears up to launch its school meals programmes for vulnerable school children and school employees in the country”.
WFP's work in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will focus on the provision of nutritious school meals, the rehabilitation of school canteens, and the training of school staff to observe and implement the highest food safety practices.
“WFP has moved the food supplies to its logistics hub in Maracaibo, Venezuela”, Tomson Phiri said. “As schools in Venezuela are currently closed, the World Food Programme will provide take-home rations that include rice, lentils, salt, and vegetable oil prioritizing school children under the age of 6 in areas most affected by food insecurity”.
The first 42,000 food packages which have arrived in Maracaibo, Venezuela's second-largest city, will be distributed in the first month of the operation. WFP will manage its own supply chain, from purchasing food to distributing in schools.
“WFP aims to progressively reach up to 185, 000 children and school personnel by the end of this year and 1,5 million people by the end of the 2022/2023 academic year”, stated Mr. Phiri. He added that “each food package that will be going to be provided to these children includes 6 kilos of rice, 4 kilograms of lentils and 454 grams of iodate salt as well as 1 liter of vegetable oil. Each food ration totals a little more than 11 kg, that’s what will be provided to each child”.
Humanitarian aid groups had pressed Maduro for years to allow the WFP to distribute food in Venezuela before he acceded in April. Child malnutrition is on the rise in the once-prosperous OPEC nation.