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(CNN Spanish) ––

The Government of Cuba reported this Thursday that it has “guaranteed” the subsidized powdered milk it delivers to children and other people on the island during the months of March and April, official media on the island reported.

The announcement, made by the director of the Agri-Food Business Group of the Ministry of the Food Industry (Minal), Juan Carlos Domínguez Márquez, occurs just when the World Food Program (WFP) received a request for support to obtain powdered milk from of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, sources familiar with the matter told CNN this Thursday.

The sources did not give more details about the request made to the international organization, which is part of the United Nations and focuses on providing support to combat world hunger.

As of this Friday, the Cuban Government has not publicly admitted that it sent the request for help to the WFP and has not responded to requests for comment sent by CNN to its embassy in Washington.

CNN also called the agency's office in Havana this Friday, where an employee said that the team that could speak to the press was in a meeting and that someone would contact us later, something that did not happen.

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According to Cuban media, Domínguez stated that the Government was working to resolve supply problems that have occurred in recent months, derived, for example, from the lack of compliance with contracts by some ranchers.

Without mentioning the WFP, the official said: "Donations of milk powder made by governments and international institutions are valuable help, which we always appreciate, but they do not constitute the definitive solution to the deficit of vital food for children under seven years of age, pregnant women and children with chronic illnesses, no matter how old they are," Cubadebate review.

In mid-February, the Minister of Commerce of Cuba, Betsy Díaz, acknowledged that the Cuban Government had problems supplying powdered milk from abroad and that "alternatives were being sought at the country and territorial level," media reported. state.

The WFP has been running programs for decades to improve the nutrition of the population in Cuba and in 2022 alone it registered more than 789,000 beneficiaries on the island, according to its latest available report.

The lack of supply of subsidized milk that the population acquires adds another problem to the citizens of the island, already hit for a long time by the shortage of medicines and fuel –– which this Friday increased their value by 500%–– and other products that, according to the Government, are the result of the US embargo against the island, established in 1962.

Gabriela Frías contributed to this report.

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