CARACAS, Venezuela -- The action plan for the eradication of hunger and poverty in the economic zone of PetroCaribe is showing significant progress. In order to define the specific intervention initiatives for each country, representatives from 17 Caribbean and Central American nations met in Caracas, Venezuela on 3 and 4 April 2014.
The meeting was opened by the vice-president for social areas of Venezuela, Hector Rodriguez, who emphasized on the importance of PetroCaribe for the region, noting that "this is a proposal that seeks equality based on diversity”.
Referring to the results of the action plan for the eradication of hunger and poverty, he stated, "We have the strategic goal of making the Caribbean a hunger free region."
On this occasion, countries presented their concrete initiatives to eradicate hunger and poverty locally. The Executive Secretariat of PetroCaribe, with technical assistance from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, will evaluate the proposals based on the guidelines set out in the action plan, which were approved by all the countries in the region. Selected projects will receive implementation funding from PetroCaribe.
At the meeting, the president of PDV Caribe and ALBA executive secretary, Bernardo Alvarez, emphasized the efficient implementation of the action plan: "We must congratulate ourselves on the important progress we have made in implementing the action plan for the eradication of hunger and poverty."
Alvarez highlighted the leadership of FAO director general, José Graziano da Silva, in the creation of this regional initiative to end hunger: "This would not be possible without the inspiration of the director general of FAO, who was the creator of the Zero Hunger program in Brazil during the government of President Lula.”
The FAO regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, Raúl Benítez, noted, "The action plan to eradicate hunger and poverty is an example for everyone. This initiative is a concrete response to the 47 million people who still suffer hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Benitez acknowledged the commitment of the countries of the region, and Venezuela in particular, in the fight against hunger: “Venezuela is not only an example of a country that managed to defeat undernourishment in its territory, but it is an example of solidarity with an entire region."
Meanwhile, executive secretary of PetroCaribe, Asdrubal Chavez, expressed optimism about the results of the action plan.
"We could even reach our goals sooner than planned,” Chavez said.
The action plan is part of the priorities of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative, a commitment of 33 countries of the region to eradicate malnutrition by 2025. Its aim is to strengthen food and nutrition security of member states of the PetroCaribe and ALBA economic zone through national and regional hunger eradication projects.