A partnership between Aid Live Foundation and local agribusiness Acceso Colombia will benefit 6,900 Venezuelan children and 1,200 mothers with nutrition programs and meals while building economic opportunity for hundreds of Colombian farmers.
CÚCUTA, COLOMBIA — The number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants has now reached 4.8 million with 1.6 million living in Colombia. 65 percent of children in Venezuela suffer from malnutrition and 45 percent of those who have arrived in Colombia suffer from stunted growth and chronic malnutrition with a strong need for balanced diets, water, medical treatment and basic hygiene, according to statistics compiled by the Aid Live Foundation. Aid Live Foundation is focused on promoting the integral development of Venezuelan children and families, both living inside and outside Venezuela.
Acceso Colombia, an agribusiness built by Acceso to help lift farmers out of poverty, has supported the provision of 4.3 million meals to more than 251,000 Venezuelan refugees since April 2019. The new Acceso Colombia and Aid Live Foundation partnership will support the feeding of 6,900 Venezuelan children and 1,200 mothers with two daily meals over the next few months; construct two kitchens that will be operating feeding programs in Zulia, Venezuela; and support nutrition programs in Zulia, Venezuela and Riohacha, Colombia. The programs will be executed by Asociación de Bancos Alimentos de Colombia (ABACO), World Central Kitchen (WCK), and Wayuu Taya Foundation, non-profit organizations with extensive experience in running local food banks, kitchens, and health and nutrition programs.
Ongoing support from Frank Giustra and the Giustra Foundation, with new support from Aid Live Foundation, will allow Acceso Colombia to continue using their innovative agribusiness platform to deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuelans while empowering farmers to be part of the solution. Acceso Colombia sources fresh fruits and vegetables from hundreds of local smallholder farmers and sells it to national retailers and food service companies to lift farmers out of poverty. The business has donated more than 480 metric tons of fruits and vegetables specifically to be used in nutritious meals for Venezuelan migrants.
The next phase of Acceso Colombia’s feeding program is expected to bring its total meals supported for Venezuelan refugees to more than six million in the critical border cities of Riohacha, Cúcuta, and Barranquilla in Colombia as well as in Zulia, Venezuela.
“Our agribusiness model is playing an important role in supplying fresh food to Venezuelan refugees while empowering local farmers. Picturing my own kids suffering has always been the catalyst that has motivated me to act and I’m thrilled that our feeding program will reach more children and mothers in Venezuela and Colombia with support from the Aid Live Foundation.” Frank Giustra, co-founder of Acceso.
“We are committed to helping Venezuelan children and families improve their health and well-being and we are happy to partner with Acceso Colombia to continue the critical work they are doing,” Bruno Ocampo, Aid Live Foundation co-founder.
About the Aid Live Foundation
Aid Live Foundation is focused on promoting the development and welfare of children in vulnerable communities in Venezuela and Venezuelan refugees in Colombia. Beyond the importance of the work of philanthropic organizations that make in-kind donations, its mission is to provide support and wellbeing and to improve health and nutrition, especially in children and young people. Aid Live Foundation focuses on providing support in the most urgent situations, such as nutrition, food security and early childhood health, targeting the most vulnerable populations.
Acceso, formerly an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, is a social business builder that brings entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty – building from scratch, investing start-up capital, and managing agribusinesses that work with smallholder farmers and fishers. Acceso improves the livelihoods of farmers and farming communities by improving agricultural productivity, creating job opportunities, and facilitating long-term linkages to high-value markets to lift them out of poverty. Acceso Colombia is an agribusiness built and managed by Acceso.
About Asociación de Bancos Alimentos de Colombia (ABACO)
ABACO is a non-profit organization that represents food banks in Colombia. ABACO’s goal is to contribute to the eradication of hunger and the promotion of responsible production and consumption of food across Colombia. ABACO is collecting food donations from Acceso Colombia and other organizations across Colombia, and delivering the produce to schools, churches, and non-profit organizations who are then providing meals to refugees and migrants.
About Wayuu Taya Foundation
Wayuu Taya is a New York-based foundation which works to improve the quality of living of indigenous communities in Latin America while respecting their culture. It was founded by Venezuelan activist and actress Patricia Velasquez. Wayuu Taya runs health and nutrition programs where they cook meals in their local schools for children in the municipalities of Mara and Jesus Enrique Lossada in Venezuela.
About World Central Kitchen (WCK)
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, WCK has served more than 8 million meals to those in need in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. In addition to disaster relief, WCK operates long-term programs aimed at improving livelihoods by strengthening local food ecosystems. It is focused on improving health, creating jobs through educational offerings, strengthening food economies, and promoting sustainable social enterprises by creating and implementing locally-led, smart solutions to hunger and poverty.
Our agribusiness model is playing an important role in supplying fresh food to Venezuelan refugees while empowering local farmers. Picturing my own kids suffering has always been the catalyst that has motivated me to act and I’m thrilled that our feeding program will reach more children and mothers in Venezuela and Colombia with support from the Aid Live Foundation.”– Frank Giustra, co-founder of Acceso.