Facts About Our Work in Colombia
Food For The Poor began serving in Colombia in 2014. The international relief and development organization is working with the Order of Malta, which is one of the oldest lay religious orders of the Catholic Church. The Order of Malta is a neutral, impartial and apolitical organization that facilitates the distribution of needed medical supplies within the South American country.
Food For The Poor with the help of the Order of Malta is providing food to children in arid La Guajira. La Guajira borders Venezuela, and encompasses most of the Guajira Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea; it is one of the most vulnerable departments in Colombia where drought has plagued the region for more than a decade. It is home to the indigenous Wayuu people, who are a Native American ethnic group.
The Order of Malta distributes aid that includes MannaPack meals to 22 departments of Colombia, including La Guajira and regions in Bogota and El Choco. MannaPack meals also are being provided for Venezuelan migrants and local residents of Cucuta, where these MannaPacks are stored in a food bank and distributed to 11 feeding centers, serving nearly 8,000 people daily.
Food For The Poor also has partnered with Minuto de Dios, a Colombian nonprofit organization, to bring relief to families in Colombia, including the tens of thousands of Venezuelan migrants who have fled to escape shortages of food, water and medicine. For 60 years, Minuto de Dios has been dedicated to providing counseling, job training and homes to poor families while empowering them to manage their own success and development.
Food For The Poor also is providing support to several Venezuelan migrant care centers throughout Colombia. These include psychological, emotional and medical assistance along with development assistance with micro-enterprise projects.
The Palma Real Sustainable Community Development Project is planned for Granada, Meta, which is located east of Cali. The sustainable community will have 60 three-bedroom houses with clean water, sanitation and electricity. Food For The Poor will build an Integral Development Center, which will deliver services to the community and assist with social development, income-generating activities and training, as well as other social programs.
In 2019, Food For The Poor shipped 21 tractor-trailer loads of the following to Colombia:
- Nine tractor-trailer loads of MannaPack meals
- More than 1,000 specialized wheelchair kits
Through Food For The Poor, the Order of Malta is in the process of implementing a program to help the disabled in Atlantico, Bolivar, Guajira, Magdalena, Antioquia, Caldas, Cundinamarca and Boyaca, by providing them with specialized wheelchairs for a better quality of life.
The population is approximately 50 million residents. The language is Spanish and Catholic is their largest religious denomination. The currency is the peso and the GDP per capita is $14,400