Colombia’s new actions against food insecurity

Edited by Catherin López
2023-04-19 21:15:45


More than 15 million Colombians are in a situation of moderate or severe food insecurity


By María Josefina Arce


More than 15 million Colombians are in a situation of moderate or severe food insecurity, a scenario that Gustavo Petro encountered upon his arrival to the presidency last August and which has focused the attention of the new government.


Hence the launching of the Plan de Choque contra el Hambre (Shock Plan against Hunger), an initiative under the responsibility of the Department for Social Prosperity aimed at around two million vulnerable Colombian households.


Through the so-called Zero Hunger Voucher, an economic subsidy of 500 thousand pesos is provided. This includes 324,000 new households that were not receiving any assistance from the state until now.


It especially favors female-headed households with children under six years of age.


Another action aims to strengthen soup kitchens and community kitchens to meet the needs of a greater number of people. This program would be supported by the delivery of resources by the government.


The aim is to create a network for the distribution of food at low prices, for which, the Colombian president stressed, the state should buy the farmers' harvests and take them to where they are most needed.


Petro's government also signed last January a Letter of Intent with FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, aimed at strengthening cooperation, generating sustainable food systems, and advancing the fight against hunger.


It also plans to encourage family farming, which integrates land tenure, marketing, credit, and technologies.


The priority areas for this project include the departments of Arauca, Boyacá, Cesar, Norte de Santander, Vichada, and La Guajira, where the situation is most complex.


The authorities also seek to strengthen institutional programs such as the School Feeding Program, which provides food supplements to children and adolescents in educational centers. To this end, the resources allocated to this plan have been increased.


The government of Gustavo Petro has among its priorities to end hunger and food insecurity faced by many Colombian households, and to this end has been coordinating actions since his arrival to the presidency.


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