WFP ‘magic bags’ support HIV-positive people during the coronavirus pandemic in Colombia

The nearly half a million people who receive WFP support every month during the COVID-19 crisis in Colombia include women living with HIV/AIDS in the Arauca, Sucre, Nariño and Norte de Santander departments.

WFP Colombia
Dec 2, 2020 · 3 min read

In the urban and rural areas of Sucre, a department in the Caribbean region of Colombia, the support the World Food Programme (WFP) is providing to 120 HIV-positive women and trans- and cisgender people, is not limited to the delivery of food kits: it also includes training in food handling and preparation as well as on the importance of an adequate nutrition.

Twenty-six-year-old Erica is part of this initiative. She lives with her husband and her two children.

She believes living with HIV is a challenge to be taken seriously. She attends all due medical appointments and receives her treatments regularly. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, however, it is only through WFP support that she has been able to provide the nutritional needs of her family.

“I like to call the food kit that we received the magic bag!,” says a joyful Erica. “You open it and lots of foods start coming out: beans, rice, oil, everything in perfect conditions. I have never received something like this in my life.”

Image for post
Image for post
Erica (left) receiving her food basket. Photo: Cimientos de Luz /Boris Señas

“I like to call the food kit that we received the magic bag! (…) I have never received something like this in my life”

“I used to have a messy diet, and thanks to the training I learned about food safety and nutrition. Food is everything, if you don’t eat well, you won’t be ok. This is also very important considering the treatment we receive,” says Carina.

Image for post
Image for post
Carina, mother of two, has received training in food safety and nutrition Photo: Cimientos de Luz/ Ricardo Sierra

In the same region, other 26 people living with HIV/AIDS are being trained on how to transform aromatic and medicinal homegrown plants into essential oils and derived supplements for personal use. With the support of WFP, the project promotes ancestral traditions and helps these beneficiaries with the commercialization of the subproducts.

“I recently made my first oatmeal soaps, with a lot of love and dedication. I am grateful for this opportunity and for having reasons to continue fighting,” says Rosalina González, a beneficiary of this assistance.

The challenge of living with HIV/AIDS has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis for all these women. However, this has not stopped them from continuing to work to improve their lives and livelihoods.

During the global health crisis, WFP is committed more than ever to support those being hit the hardest, saving and changing lives while eliminating stigmas and discrimination, leaving no one behind.

A version in Spanish is available here.

World Food Programme Insight

Insight by The World Food Programme

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store