Cuba expands cooperation with WFP, despite US blockade.

Havana, 4 March, 2024 - Cuba has maintained close cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP) since 1993, despite the limitations of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States more than six decades ago.

Sources consulted by the Cubadebate website explained that the island rigorously complies with the indicators and principles of control and monitoring of food delivery established by the WFP at the international level.

For the Caribbean nation, the food and nutritional security of its population is a state priority, endorsed in documents such as the Food and Nutritional Sovereignty and Security Law and the National Economic and Social Development Plan until 2030.

In a complex context marked by post-pandemic recovery, the tightening of the US blockade, the inclusion of the island on the list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism and the multidimensional global crisis, Cuba is showing progress in its food security and nutrition programmes.

Life expectancy at birth is 78 years (80 years for women and 76 years for men). In addition, out of 189 countries assessed in 2019 in the Human Development Index, the nation ranked 72nd and in the Gender Inequality Index, 65th.

In Cuba, attention to maternal and child health is based on the priority given to it by the State, the implementation of the National Programme for Maternal and Child Health Care and the guarantee of equitable access to health services.

Likewise, the low birth weight rate is reported to be below seven percent, lower than that of industrialised countries, and in 2021 the low birth weight rate was 6.6 percent, although it is still a current health problem.

Among the most relevant results are five-year survival of 99.4%; more than 10 prenatal check-ups per delivery; 5.3% low birth weight; 99.9% institutional deliveries; and being the first country to validate the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis.

Currently, the Programme's support includes the implementation of projects in the agricultural and food production sectors, the donation of inputs to cope with meteorological phenomena and the distribution of food to vulnerable groups.

In the past, the island has also contributed to WFP operations with donations of certain inputs, which WFP has allocated to countries in which it operates.

Taking this history into account, Cubadebate added that a ship from Brazil will arrive in the next few days with 375 tons of powdered milk, which will guarantee distribution for children from zero to six years of age.

In addition, 500 tons of milk have been contracted with the United States, under the exceptions established by that government to sell certain products to the island, through immediate payment in cash; as well as 245 from Canada, 500 more from Brazil, and 600 from other suppliers.

Cuba appreciates the support of the WFP in prioritised issues and ratified the will to continue expanding cooperation by fostering a climate of understanding and mutual respect.


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