Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009 World Food Program - PMA Robbery and Corruption Food Stolen From The Poor

I often get angry at the in-justice in this country! Honduras!
Don't get me wrong, I love the country, I love most of the people, but there are times when my hair stands up on end at the audacity of some people as they punish the poor for their ignorance.
This time it was nurses, sworn to protect their patients, 
stealing food from them and their small malnourished children instead of helping them.

This was the months supply of food for a family of 5 which was given to her. 
The rest was stolen by the people in charge of giving it out.

World Food Program is called PMA in Honduras. 
PMA means Programa Mundial de Alimentos. 

WFP's strategic plan lays out 5 objectives and all our work is geared towards achieving them. They are:
  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger

I found his lady and those below with their families walking on the road with their small bags of food.
Being the curious person that I am, I stopped them and asked where they received the food.
They told me they received the minuscule rations from the local nurses in a small village outside of Coray, Valle.

We had her write a note telling exactly the amount of food which she received.

As God would have it, I just happened to have the local director of PMA in the car with me, we just happened to be on that dirt road going to look at another possible project, and we just happened to run across these ladies on the road and it just happened to be the one time per month which they receive food and it just happened to be the right time of the day which they were walking with their food carefully balanced on their heads. 

The "free" PMA bag was sold to her for 25 lempira, ($1.30) which works out to be about 1/4 of a days wages in this area of the country.

Less than 20% of the food which the families were supposed to receive were actually given to them. The nurses "mis-appropriated" the other 80%.  "Mis-appropriated" is the kind Honduran way to say someone is a thief, but not calling them a thief, because they may come after the person speaking and kill them later.

I am not Honduran, I am just here to help and I am furiously indignant!  
I wish I could think of a stronger word grouping.
If I was Honduran I would be angrier still at "my" people.

How can anyone steal food from others?

The nurses which stole, have a large salary in comparison to others in the country and especially in comparison to these poor.

They dress up in their best clothes and walk miles to get food rations to keep their children from being severely malnourished.

I have been promised that the nurse thiefs will be relieved of their duties as the people in charge of passing out the food.

I can only hope that is true!

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