PANAMA CITY, Panama — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has reached an agreement to commence operations in Venezuela with the priority of serving the most vulnerable children.
WFP’s operations in Venezuela and the world over are guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence.
“We are grateful for the great support we received from all parties, who agreed with these principles”, said David Beasley, WFP executive director.
The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and WFP signed Monday, a memorandum of understanding whereby WFP will establish a presence in the country and commence the humanitarian operation.
WFP will provide nutritious school meals to children, particularly in pre-primary and special education schools, as well as invest in the rehabilitation of school canteens and training school staff on food safety practices.
“With this agreement, WFP will move forward with its plan to progressively reach 1.5 million children in schools in the areas most affected by food insecurity,” said Beasley. “The children and the schools will be at the centre of our operation. We believe the school is the most appropriate platform for WFP to reach communities in an independent manner.”
The WFP operation will reach up to 185,000 children by the end of this year. Through a phased scale-up, WFP will aim to provide daily meals to 1.5 million students by the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Its expected annual budget of US$190 million is part of the Venezuela Humanitarian Response Plan.
“We are relying on the support of the international donor community to back our operation in Venezuela,” said Beasle.