Venezuela and the World Food Programme sign cooperation agreement

The programme will reach 185,000 children by the end of this year

AFP/FEDERICO PARRA  -   People queuing in Caracas

Venezuela and the World Food Programme (WFP) signed a cooperation agreement on Thursday during a meeting between the president of the Caribbean country, Nicolás Maduro, and the executive director of the international organisation, David Beasley, who is visiting Caracas.

Hours earlier, Beasley also met with the head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Venezuela, Rafael Dochao, who explained that the EU bloc will continue to provide financial support to the WFP to help alleviate the consequences of the crisis in Venezuela.

The European Delegation in Venezuela hosted a meeting between WFP donors, "as a sign of the international community's commitment to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela," the EU office explained on the same social network.

The institution reiterated that, among the issues addressed at the meeting, the continuity of EU funding and support for the WFP in the Caribbean country stands out. 

PHOTO/JHONN ZERPA/Venezuelan Presidency/AFP - The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro

WFP began its work in Venezuela on 1 July, with the first food packages for children and school staff being delivered to a logistics centre in Maracaibo, the country's second largest city.

The programme will reach 185,000 children by the end of this year and, through "a gradual scale-up", aims to feed 1.5 million students daily by the end of the 2022 and 2023 school year, under an annual budget - part of Venezuela's Humanitarian Response Plan - of US$190 million.

WFP assessed Venezuela's food security with fieldwork conducted between July and September 2019, following an invitation from the government.

It found that "7.9% of the population in Venezuela (2.3 million) is severely food insecure and an additional 24.4% (7 million) is moderately food insecure", according to the report resulting from the country visit.