July 31, 2008
TEGUCIGALPA -- Venezuela and 18 nations in the Americas have created a regional food fund to help ensure supplies for poor countries.
The fund known as Petro Food is largely backed by a Venezuelan promise to donate five U.S. cents for every barrel of oil Venezuela sells at prices of more than $100 per barrel.
It is expected to provide $400 million to $500 million per year for farm development and other projects in Central America and the Caribbean.
Many of those nations already participate in Venezuela's Petrocaribe plan, under which Venezuela provides oil at preferential terms and prices.
Agricultural ministers from the 18 countries issued a joint declaration on the new food fund Wednesday at a meeting in Honduras, whose president announced that his country is also joining the Venezuelan-led leftist trade group known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.