• WFP continues to provide food and technical assistance to the populations affected by Hurricane Irma in Central Cuba.
• WFP facilitated two high-level field visits by the European Union and the Director of the Sustainable Development Goal Fund.
• WFP continues to strengthen the capacities of local and national institutions, farmers and cooperatives to enhance social protection programmes.
• WFP promotes the reduction of gender stereotypes and women’s empowerment among the supported cooperatives.
• WFP continues to provide assistance to the populations affected by Hurricane Irma in Central Cuba (Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Matanzas, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara provinces). To date, WFP assisted 637,000 people with rice and beans, thanks to the foods stocks already prepositioned in the country for a potential disaster response. The distribution of vegetable oil is underway. WFP also suppors national and local authorities with mobile storage units to strengthen food protection capacities.
• As part of its nutritional activities, WFP has facilitated community events in all targeted provinces to sensitize beneficiaries and partner institutions on the properties of micronutrient powders (MNPs) and their consumption. These events are known as Festivals of “Chispitas”, the name used for MNPs in Cuba.
• Under the efforts to strengthen the bean value chain in six provinces, WFP is facilitating the organization of “Bean Variety Fairs” to test different bean varieties and foster good practices amongst the value chain actors. A similar initiative focused on fresh vegetables was organized in the urban areas of Santiago de Cuba.
• WFP continues to strengthen the capacities of farmers and local institutions on comprehensive drought management. A pilot phase has begun to implement all the tools developed for drought management at the municipal level. An official field visit by a European Union delegation (the main donor for these activities) was organised to show operational progress and exchange with beneficiaries and authorities.
• WFP facilitated an official visit by the Director of the SDG Fund to the province of Santiago, where it is strengthening drought resilience in urban and periurban areas as part of a joint project with UNICEF and the United Nations Development Programme.
• Funding challenges are faced for the coming Transitional Interim Country Strategic Plan.
• As stressed by Cuba authorities, drought continues to represent a challenge to public water supply and agricultural production, particularly in the southeastern provinces.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment
• WFP continues to coordinate the replication of gender sensitization workshops – previously facilitated in four eastern provinces – at the municipal level. So far, 250 farmers from the provinces of Holguín, Granma and Las Tunas have been sensitized.
• On the occasion of the 16-day Orange campaign against violence, WFP Cuba is also promoting numerous initiatives, both at the national and local level.