World January 16, 2016 | 8:59 am

Petrocaribe: 10 years strengthen food security in the Caribbean and Central America

Santiago, Chile.– In the last ten years, Petrocaribe has become one of the basis of food security in the countries of Central America and the Caribbean, Pointed FAO today in occasion of the release of a new book that analyzes the main interventions and impacts of the regional cooperation agreement.

The book “Petrocaribe: 10 years of struggle against hunger and poverty”, includes the main lessons and important initiatives of this agreement that seeks regional integration.

Created by Venezuela in 2005, Petrocaribe is based on three central themes: energetic security, economic and social development of people and the integration of countries.

To date, it has enabled 19 countries to create more than 109 social and productive programs and projects that have benefited millions of people in the Caribbean and Central America.

"This agreement is a unique example of cooperation for the rest of the world, and that has contributed significantly to the reduction in the rate of malnutrition in most of its member countries," explained the FAO Regional Representative Raul Benitez.

Benitez said that Petrocaribe has improved the availability, access and utilization of food steadily, alleviating extreme poverty and improving the quality of life of millions of people.

"Petrocaribe is an example of successful integration, which has helped and promoted the development of all peoples who are part of it, giving stability to the region," said Yllermina Celis, Executive Secretary of Petrocaribe.

More than one hundred initiatives

Petrocaribe allowed the creation of a hundred programs in the countries that comprise it, including from school feeding initiatives, direct aid to vulnerable people and support for small farmers to build food processing plants, reconstruction of roads agriculture and training of socio-productive large-scale enterprises.

The socio-productive enterprise Alba Foods in El Salvador, strengthen small and medium producers in the country, promoting fair trade, innovation and sustainable agro-practices.

The program will benefit the people of Antigua and Barbuda, meanwhile, aid to vulnerable families in the purchase of food and commodities through a monthly allowance of 80 USD, benefiting more than two thousand people.

Other highlights include programs supported by Petrocaribe are the development of rice production in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, and the Company of support to farmers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which delivers loans to small farmers to increase and diversify their production.

"The sum of all these initiatives, attacking the many facets of hunger and poverty, has generated an enormous impact on the development and food security of the countries and the region as a whole," concluded Benitez.

Achieving Zero Hunger

Benitez said that the Petrocaribe energetic agreement also gave rise to the Action Plan for the eradication of hunger and poverty Commander Hugo Chavez, which aims to guarantee the human right to food and strengthening food security.

This plan encourages countries of Petrocaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) to develop projects that strengthen family farming, enhance the industrialization of agriculture and develop productive for the equitable distribution of food chains, promoting creating comprehensive policies and plans for the eradication of hunger and poverty.

This plan is based on the guidelines of the Plan of Action for Public Policy in Social Matters of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, and works closely with the Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication of CELAC, the main regional agreement that seeks to eradicate hunger across the region by 2025.

Hugo Chavez, Plan receives technical support from FAO through the FAO-Venezuela for Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Triangular Cooperation Program, SANA.

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