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UCA report: the Alimentar card helped in access to food, but did not improve nutritional quality


The study highlights that the program served as a 'safety net' in the poorest households but did not change the diet of the boys.

Mariano Gaik Aldrovandi

07/29/2021 12:11 AM

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 07/29/2021 12:11 AM

"In Argentina there cannot be hunger, everyone has to eat and they

have to eat well


The phrase was said by the Minister of Social Development of the Nation, Daniel Arroyo, when he presented the

Alimentar card

in Greater Buenos Aires in January 2020. A year and a half after that event, a report revealed that the program helped access to the food but

did not improve the nutritional quality of the boys.

The study was in charge of the

Observatory of the Argentine Social Debt

that depends on the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) directed by the sociologist Agustín Salvia.

The research compared the

consumption of food

and other products (such as cleaning or personal hygiene) in households that receive the benefit of the Alimentar program versus those that do not.

A priori the result is "positive", says the report "Impact evaluation of the Alimentar Card program", insofar as it "resulted in a

protection network in a general worsening

of the socio-food situation."

“The estimate of the average impact of the Alimentar Program suggests that, in the absence of the transfer, the recipient households would have had a

greater increase in food insecurity at their total threshold than they actually did


Households not recipients of the Alimentar Program or recipients of the AUH (Universal Child Allowance) had an increase of 23.6% in total food insecurity compared to 1.7% in the case of recipients "

, says the document to which


had access


The report emphasizes that the effect was greater in the poor and indigent sectors and in villages and settlements.

However, according to the Argentine Social Debt Observatory,

the consumption of meat, dairy products and fruits and vegetables did not change significantly

due to the Alimentar Program.

Although yes in the case of eggs and legumes.

The comparison showed that

“the households that are recipients of Alimentar actually have a higher consumption of the different food groups analyzed - with the exception of the consumption of


- than the vulnerable non-recipient households after matching”.

And it details:

“For example, 89.3% of the recipient households in the paired base declare that they have purchased meat in their last purchase, 86.3% purchased dairy products, 86.1% purchased fruits and vegetables, and 81.3% He brought legumes (like beans or lentils).

However, the average impact

was not statistically significant in all these cases


In fact, a robust medium impact is only seen in favor of the recipients of the Alimentar Program in the case of the consumption of eggs and legumes ”.

Nutritional quality

By putting the magnifying glass on the quality of the boys' diet, the study found that the feeding card

did not have a significant impact.

Although access to beef and chicken meat improved somewhat, "there is an

absence of impacts on the quality of the diet of children and adolescents

in food groups source of essential nutrients (dairy, fruits and vegetables)" .

“There are no statistically significant impacts on the consumption of meat, dairy, or fruits or vegetables.

On the other hand, it can be seen that the households receiving the Alimentar Program will have a

greater propensity to consume eggs and legumes

than the households in the comparison group (households without the Program) ”

, says the report in its conclusions.

For the researchers, this could be linked to the time it takes to generate a change in diet and the "difficulties of the Program to carry out the

nutritional education


, foreseen in the design, due to the restrictions imposed" by the pandemic.

Finally, the study observed that the households that received the aid had greater access to other essential products for the quality of life, such as cleaning and personal hygiene.

"This evolution occurred in a context in which households had to direct greater resources to cleaning products due to the context of the Covid-19 pandemic


" they


The Alimentar program is framed in the "Argentina Plan Against Hunger" and intended for people who receive the AUH with children up to 14 years inclusive, pregnant from three months who receive the Allowance for pregnancy, people with disabilities who AUH without age limit and mothers with 7 or more children who receive non-contributory pensions.

The amount of the benefit ranges from 6,000 to 12,000 pesos and can be received as a bank transfer or through a physical card.

In the latter case, it can only be used to buy food


Look also

Return to barter: a day at the Laferrere fair where slippers and T-shirts are exchanged for oil or sugar

The basic food basket increased 3.2% in June and a family needed $ 66,488 to avoid being poor

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2021-07-29

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