According to data from the interagency report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI 2020), the cost of a healthy diet in the region is the highest in the world, with an average value of USD 3.98 per day per person, which, together with the depreciation of the minimum wage and high inflation in Venezuela limits people's ability to access quality food and diets. Partners are concerned about the drop in the production of corn and rice during the planting cycle. Regarding corn, 112,000 hectares were planted this year - 88,000 hectares less than in 2019 or a decrease by 40 per cent. In the rice sector the decrease was even greater - from 75,000 hectares in 2019 to 37,500 in 2020 - that is, 50 per cent less. Returnees require assistance and nutritional support. Not only is there a need to support them in temporary accommodation spaces (PASI) with direct food assistance, but there is also a need to support returnees and host communities in destination states, as well as in bordering rural areas, to boost local food production and contribute to income generation.
In July, 125,261 people benefited from food security activities, including food distribution and production, across 102 municipalities in 23 states. The main activities reported by Cluster partners were: - Technical strengthening and provision of equipment for public institutions and local organizations that implement food and nutritional security activities, feasibility analysis for intervention modalities, and training in various trades that support food production, planting and the acquisition of livelihood skills. - Supply of seeds, tools, small equipment, animals, and technical assistance for food production to meet immediate needs, with special attention to female headed households. - Distribution of complementary food to educational institutions, community centers and health centers; support for the production and distribution of nutritionally enriched foods for people with specific needs, and; distribution of food to vulnerable people, with particular attention to women and girls at risk, and families with children under 5 years of age with acute malnutrition. - Cash or coupon distributions to vulnerable households, with special attention to female headed households.
It is necessary to strengthen the response capacity of the Cluster and mobilize more resources to meet the scale of needs. Cash transfer assistance modalities (CBT / TM) can be a mechanism to respond to emergency food needs, once the fiscal conditions and legal framework for this type of assistance are clarified. The fuel shortage in some states of the country continues to impact agricultural and livestock unions that express concern about the consequences of not being able to use the machinery and equipment necessary for food production, as well as their transfer from Apure, Barinas, Lara, Táchira and Zulia states.