"At WFP here in Venezuela, we essentially continue to work and support children by feeding them at school. We are working in eight states of the country, supporting about 450,000 people monthly, essentially children, but also teachers and all the staff who are in the schools that we work at", she told Lusa.
Laura Melo recalled that WFP is a UN agency that promotes food security and nutrition to the poorest and most vulnerable people in about 120 countries, with millions of beneficiaries.
"In April 2021, WFP signed an agreement with the Government of Venezuela to start working and providing support, from the point of view of food security and nutrition in the country," she said, noting that they had already been in the country for a long time.
Three months later, in July, local activities began, with the distribution of food in schools up to primary in the state of Falcón, to children from 6 months to 6 years of age, and in special schools, to support people with disabilities.
"Food programs and support activities in schools exist in a variety of countries in Latin America. We offer support to complement the efforts of the country itself, to feed and help the most vulnerable people to have a nutritious diet. Essentially so that children can have a healthy development and can fulfil their potential," she said.
Laura Melo explained that she loves what she does and that she is "very proud" to work for WFP, an organisation with which she has worked for more than 20 years.
"I'm in love with Venezuela. It's a wonderful country, with wonderful people, with incredible potential. And our job is essentially to support that potential, that all these opportunities that exist in the country can reach their maximum," he said.
The official also stressed that Venezuela "is a country with an enormous geographical diversity, with an absolutely fantastic capacity and human talent."
"The desire to move forward, to achieve things for your country is an extraordinary thing and gives us great pride to be able to support Venezuela," she added.
On the other hand, she explained that WFP is an agency funded on an absolutely voluntary basis, which has donor countries, with an important component of the private sector and other types of organisations.
According to Laura Melo, "the conflict in Ukraine is also greatly affecting the production of food and fertilisers in virtually every country in the world: where there is agricultural production, there is an increase in prices and this translates into an increase in food prices for the consumer and the population, affecting the ability to buy diversified food and to ensure a diversified diet which is fundamental to good nutrition."
"It is always a pleasure to arrive in a country and see that Portugal is well represented and to see that Portugal has left a very important contribution in this country. Being Portuguese is always an asset. We are a well-regarded country in the world at large. We are a country with very good relations with all the countries of the world," she said.
"As a Portuguese person, I am really very proud to be part of the UN, and to be able to be identified as a representative of Portugal at the United Nations," she said.
On the Portuguese-Venezuelan community, she congratulated it for being "very united and very representative" and that it "works very hard to promote" its members. "Many already have a very long history here and identify as Venezuelans, but also as Portuguese," she added.