Food Security of Venezuelan Early Childhood in Bogotá | Opinion – Bogota

The union between Success Foundation Y Bogotá How are we? presents to society and citizens the results of the Report on Nutritional situation in early childhood and pregnant women of the Venezuelan migrant population in Bogotá. This report is part of a series of investigations that have been ongoing since 2019 on the behavior of key indicators of food security status for boys and girls, but that have not deepened the impact of migration in Venezuela. The above becomes relevant considering that 29% of the migrant population in Bogotá corresponds to boys and girls between the ages of 0 and 14, according to figures reported with a deadline of June 2021 in the Observatory of the Venezuelan Migration Project.

(Continue reading: This is feeding pregnant women and migrant children in Bogotá).

(…) since they are the object of special protection, it is necessary to redouble efforts so that no boy or girl, wherever they come from, is left behind.

It is important to contextualize the results of the migrant population surveillance to indicators of chronic malnutrition, acute malnutrition, low birth weight, overweight and breastfeeding. In 2021, 56.4% of the Venezuelan migrant population remained in illegal immigration status. In addition, according to DANE, the global labor force participation rate (TGP), which is calculated by the ratio between the economically active population and the population of working age, presents between January and August 2021 a difference of more than 9 percentage points between the Colombian population (60 .3% on average) and the Venezuelan population (70.4%). Similarly the informal population of the Venezuelan migrant population is 90.8% versus 58% of the Colombian population. In 2021, cash poverty was 39.3% in the Colombian population, compared to 63.4% in the Venezuelan migrant population, and extreme poverty was 12.2% in the Colombian population, compared to 24.1% in the Venezuelan population .

With this framework, we present some of the results of the study below: In pregnant people, in 2021, the prevalence of low weight for gestational age in the migrant population was 16.26%, while for the Colombian population it was 11.59%, suggesting almost a 5 percentage point difference. According to the indicator Exclusive breastfeeding for children up to 6 months for 2021, the prevalence is 78.2%, which is 9.2 percentage points higher than the data for the district.

Regarding indicators of acute malnutrition we observed that the prevalence of risk in migrant children under 5 increased from 10.9% in 2020 to 16.4% in 2021, almost 3 percentage points higher than the risk in the district, although the prevalence of acute malnutrition among the migrant population increased from 4.6% in 2020 to 3.4% in 2021. In terms of chronic malnutrition among migrant children under five years of age, by 2021 a prevalence of 11.4%, which decreases when compared to 11.7% from 2020, but which is 0.4 percentage points above the district value in 2021. Finally, in overweight migrant children under 5- year old we observe that it has decreased from a prevalence of 5.1% in 2020 to 3.9% in 2021, 0.55% percentage points below the value of the population of the district.

Although it is important to clarify that data on the early childhood nutritional situation of the migrant population are in their infancy and institutional tools are not yet available to make them representative of this population, they are essential to make preliminary analyses. it attracted the attention of the authorities and generated the necessary data collection capacity that allows more precise targeting of the services and care that migrant children need.

This study also reports on the efforts made by the District Administration and ICBF to serve early childhood in Bogotá. If we look at Sustainable Development Goal 2 related to zero hunger and as they are subject to special protection, Efforts need to be redoubled so that no boy or girl is left behind, wherever they come from.

Philip Marino
Bogotá Director How are we?

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