The Government of Guatemala has embraced policies and goals that reflect its commitment to nutrition and food security. The aim of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Chronic Malnutrition 2016–2020 is to reduce stunting among children under 2 by 10 percentage points by 2020. Its focus is primarily on nutrition and health during the 1,000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday, in 139 municipalities from seven departments where the implementation of the priority interventions is being intensified. To achieve this target, FANTA assisted the Government of Guatemala with advocating for and promoting the integration of evidence-based nutrition interventions into the national budgeting and planning processes, promoting food-based recommendations to improve the diets of children and women, and strengthening national and local capacities in maternal and child nutrition.
To assist Guatemala in reaching its food and nutrition goals, FANTA’s activities included:
- Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) and the Ministry of Finance to advocate for and incorporate nutrition into annual budgets and plans.
- Supporting the Government of Guatemala and USAID implementing partners to adopt food-based recommendations in national strategies and plans to improve diet diversity and quality, particularly of children and women.
- Increasing the capacity of MSPAS to sustainably implement a course on maternal and child nutrition in the first 1,000 days to improve knowledge and skills related to the prevention of chronic malnutrition.
- Reviewing the status, prevention, and control of micronutrient deficiencies to guide the development of improved strategies and plans to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.
- Strengthening the capacities of civil society networks in maternal and child nutrition, in collaboration with HEP+, so that they can advocate for increased funding for nutrition and demand improvement of preventive nutrition services.