The Ministry of Social Development began this Friday the accreditation of the total amount of the Alimentar card, corresponding to September. The measure is part of a plan aimed at reducing food insecurity in Colombia, which has been denounced for years by social organizations and international organisms.
The measure aims to give a stronger push to the poverty reduction program, which already counts on the accreditation of about 900 thousand families through this card, whose monthly value is around 2.5 billion pesos. In total, over four million people benefit from the subsidy.
People who receive social protection benefits or who are considered “vulnerable” are the first to receive this subsidy. “Those who have assumed the responsibility of receiving public social benefits or are considered vulnerable can go to their local office or other places where it is possible to be assisted with information on the Alimentar card and accreditation.”
The Social Protection Minister, Diego Molano, underlined that families will have between 20 and 30 days to redeem their food card, which will have a duration of one year.
In the first stage, those who belong to families that receive benefits from programmes such as Juntos, Red Solidaria or Rural Family Social Assistance will benefit from the accreditation. In the second phase, people who have not been considered by any of these programmes will be acceded to the card.
Minister Molano explained that the food card is an instrument to address hunger, “It is one more step in our commitment with families who are affected by this problem.”
This measure was announced on August by president Santos during his visit to Cajibío, Cauca, where he met with peasants who are part of the victims of El Nilo storm.
The president said that families affected by the storm will receive this subsidy in order to reduce food insecurity, “I want to make it clear that the government goes on with its actions to reduce poverty and social vulnerability.”
At present, the card has been acceded to 8 thousand families in Cauca, while it is expected that there will be a total of 320 thousand beneficiaries during the year.
The same measure was already applied in Piedecuesta and Girón (Santander) and Puerto Rondón (Meta), after the flooding caused by El Nilo.
In the case of Girón, 400 families from the municipality were granted this food subsidy while in Piedecuesta, 100 displaced families received it. The government assumed all costs linked to transportation, housing and installation while the distribution of additional food was made by NGOs.
President Santos also confirmed that during September it is expected to extend this measure to other 16 municipalities affected by the El Nilo storm.