“The Farnesina has finalised today an agreement to donate 500,000 euros to the World Food Program (WFP) to promote food assistance programmes in Cuba,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano. “Our contribution will strengthen the National Plan for the Prevention and Control of Anaemia, through assistance services to pregnant and nursing women, and to boys and girls under the age of 5.””I am very satisfied about the way our cooperation with WFP in Cuba is developing. Food security is one of the priority sectors for the Italian Development Cooperation in Cuba, as proven by our cooperation programmes that form part of the bilateral relations between Italy and Cuba. Therefore, it is logical and appropriate for us to continue working in this sector, also siding with our partners at the multilateral cooperation level,” said the Italian Ambassador to Cuba, Andrea Ferrari. These remarks came during the signing ceremony of the agreement between Italy and WFP, which took place today in Havana. During the event, which was attended by the Deputy Minister for Overseas Trade and Foreign Investment, the WFP Representative in Cuba, Laura Melo, said: “This contribution comes at a particularly crucial time. Italy is an important partner for WFP in supporting Cuba achieving its nutritional and food security priorities.”Today’s contribution comes in addition to a 300,000 euro donation, which was recently made by the Italian Government to support the WFP relief programme in response to the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Cuba. It is within this context that the World Food Program has launched a relief operation to help the government of Cuba provide people living in the areas most severely stricken by Irma with safe and stable food. The initiative benefitted almost 600,000 people.
WFP is engaged in promoting development cooperation in Cuba through projects that currently benefit 900,000 people, and supporting national and local authorities in advancing in three major areas, most notably: a) supporting food and security-related social protection programmes; b) strengthening the ties between food chains and social protection nets; c) enhancing community resilience, managing environmental disaster risks and adapting to climate change at the local level.
The WFP has over 50 years of experience in working with the government of Cuba in responding to different natural disasters, starting with Hurricane Flora in 1963. Ever since that time, the World Food Program has conducted 20 emergency relief operations for a total value of 33 million dollars.