AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Caritas Venezuela's humanitarian program to counter hunger and denutrition

Monday, 11 September 2017


Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "Solid Pots" is one of the initiatives launched by Caritas Venezuela to counteract the food shortage in the poorest regions of the Country, particularly among children, adults and sick people. The program was officially launched in February 2017, with the "Compartir" Campaign that the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference carries out every year at the beginning of Lent. The initiative represents the immediate response of the Church to childhood malnutrition, especially among children under five years of age.
The Bishops, in the note sent to Fides, are aware that the Program will not be enough to solve the problem of hunger in Venezuela if the State does not take full conscious of this drama and, consequently, allows a humanitarian channel for the entry of food and medicine. The Caritas initiative, with the motto: "Community pots ... there is still much to do", has begun to take root in many churches and community centers in the Country. However, it is increasingly difficult to obtain nutritious foods to prepare meals and meet the ever increasing demand.
One of these experiences of the "Community Pots" takes place in the "Epifanía del Señor" University Parish of the Archdiocese of Caracas, carried out by Jesuit priest Raúl Herrera along with many lay faithful. "It is clear that this daily meal does not solve the underlying problem, but it can only mitigate hunger", explained one of the priest's collaborators. "Every day, we have more than 200 people who are given more than 5,000 liters of soup with meat, chicken and vegetables. We serve them at the table, and give priority to seniors and children", he added.
According to the coordinator of the program S.A.M.A.N. (Sistema de Monitoreo, Alerta y Atención Nutricional y de Salud) of Caritas Venezuela, on July 31, there was an increase in the rate of severe malnutrition among children under 5 years of age. In addition, the same study reveals that 60% of 486 children under 5 years of age weighed and measured by Caritas have nutritional deficiency. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 11/9/2017)