El Estado es responsable
de atención alimentaria
si la familia no puede
ofrecer comida diaria
Convención para Cantar. Luisa Pernalete. 2020
Articles 4 and 27 of the CRC establish that States must guarantee the social and cultural rights of children, adolescents and their families, including access to nutritious food. In Venezuela, the situation of food emergency exacerbated by the quarantine and the loss of purchasing power in households further intensify hunger in children. The CLAP have a limited ranch to supply citizens with food. According to ENCOVI (2019-20), 74% of households report moderate to severe food insecurity.
In areas of Miranda state, vulnerable children, adolescents and families resort to eating from dumpsters. Indigenous communities are unable to access to basic food and hunger causes regrettable incidents, such as the one reported in June, when 21 natives were intoxicated for consuming bitter cassava, resulting in the death of an 8-year old child.
The conditions that require special food, such as autism or gluten or lactose intolerance, don’t receive attention. Likewise, by June at least 3,000 breastfeeding babies with HIV positive mothers were at risk of malnutrition due to lack of infant formulae for their consumption.
Global acute malnutrition (GAM) in children under five years old reached 14.4% in July, increasing by 73% during lockdown, according to the most recent bulleting issued by Caritas Food Alert, Monitoring and Attention System (SAMAN in Spanish). One third of the children monitored suffer from malnutrition and one fourth is at risk of suffering acute malnutrition. 51% of the pregnant women monitored showed acute nutritional deficit. 83% of households monitored have no water supply.
In the Mara and Guajira municipalities (Zulia state), the authorities identified 496 families with malnourished children. Similarly, Warao leaders caution that children from communities in Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, Monagas and Sucre states have died of malnutrition during the quarantine.
Care entities that house children and adolescents in various states of the country, are asking for donations because they don’t have the food required to cover the nutritional needs of their charges. Simultaneously, several schools which keep an active food program for children and adolescents at risk of malnutrition in Monagas and Cojedes states, suffered robberies of supplies and food while their facilities were vandalized. Some community kitchens stopped working due to lack of transport or gasoline.
The State has the obligation to use all available resources to guarantee that children and their families have access to a balanced, nutritious and sufficient diet. Venezuela must explain why it hasn’t fulfilled these obligations before the Committee on the Rights of the Child.