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The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba ranks 83rd among 191 countries in the Human Development Report 2021-2022, with its position supported by social protection programmes and universal access to basic services.

In 2022, Cuba made great efforts to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather events, a high dependence on food imports and limited access to diverse, good-quality and safe food – all of which severely affected the domestic economy. As a result, the economy saw a slight recovery. However, inflation reached 40 percent between December 2021 and December 2022. Given that a significant proportion of household expenditure is on food (between 55-65 percent), this sharp rise has posed a major challenge for many Cuban families.

Furthermore, the country's limited access to foreign currencies has significantly reduced the availability of domestic and imported food commodities. Although the Government’s monthly food basket provides basics for the entire population, dietary diversity is limited due to the above factors.

Pre-pandemic data from the National Institute of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology showed a high prevalence of anaemia in children aged 6-23 months in eastern and central provinces and Havana. 

In this context, food security and nutrition remain a priority for the Government. Under the Constitution approved in 2019 and the Food Sovereignty and Food and Nutritional Security Law of 2022, the State recognizes people's right to food and food security. However, low agricultural productivity and high post-harvest losses remain key challenges to achieving this goal.

In addition, Cuba is one of the Caribbean countries most exposed to hurricanes, droughts and unseasonal rains. These shocks are expected to become more frequent and severe due to climate change. Rising sea levels, temperature rises and decreased rainfall affect agriculture, forestry and tourism – all pillars of the national economy.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Cuba

Resilient and sustainable local food systems
WFP prioritizes support to agricultural value chains (from production in the field to final consumption), especially for vegetables and grains, by reducing post-harvest losses, and growing farmers' incomes to ensure a stable food supply for nutrition-sensitive social safety nets. We provide training, technical assistance and equipment to smallholder farmers with a focus on reducing vulnerability, increasing crop yields and improving crop quality.
Strengthening social protection systems
We support the Government with vulnerability analysis, targeting, digitalization of the beneficiary database and use of cash-based transfers.
School feeding
WFP supports the Government with school feeding programmes that provide training on healthy eating habits and nutrition to smallholder farmers, teachers, schoolchildren and their families. We also support training on buying and preparing food – including fresh local produce from smallholder farmers – and the design of nutrition-focused menus.
Nutrition, communication and education
WFP provides specialized nutritious food, including fortified products, with a focus on initiatives such as the mother-and-child programme, and assistance to elderly people through the Sistemas de Atención a Familias – Government-run community canteens that serve highly vulnerable groups. We support nutritional education through training workshops, distribution of educational materials, educational work with children through curricular and extracurricular activities, and the creation of educational aids with the participation of teachers, children and families.
Emergency response, resilience and disaster risk management
WFP analyses the vulnerability of local food production to drought, hurricanes and earthquakes, as part of efforts to support Cuba in strengthening its early-warning systems and risk assessments. Other planned support includes technical assistance for a comprehensive national disaster risk management strategy, improved technology for data processing, and workshops with communities to improve their risk perception.

Partners and donors

Achieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Cuba is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:



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