The Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project - FANTA held its Guatemala dissemination event on March 14, 2017, in Guatemala City. More than 80 individuals from the Government of Guatemala, USAID/Guatemala and partners, civil society, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and universities attended. FANTA Project Director Sandra Remancus and Presidential Commissioner for the National Strategy for the Prevention of Chronic Malnutrition, Andrés Botrán, provided opening remarks. Following a presentation by FANTA staff, which provided an overview of the nutrition situation in Guatemala and FANTA achievements over the past six years, two panels were held on the successes, challenges, and key roles of our partners, one panel on the implementation of nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and another on strengthening the capacity on essential nutrition interventions to targeted audiences, such as MOH, SESAN, civil society, and universities.
As part of the joint efforts with HEP+ Project, representatives of civil society youth, who participated in the capacity- building efforts of FANTA and HEP+, also were actively involved in the closing event. Jackson Tello, a youth from Huehuetenango, performed his rap song, "The Voice of the People," which urges the Guatemalan society to address and take the necessary steps to prevent stunting.
Armando Barreno, representative of the National Network of Men (Red Nacional de Hombres), shared insights about the roles and responsibilities of youth in the prevention of stunting. During the closing event, the three best photos were selected from a total of 100 photos sent by 13 youth who participated in the photo contest, “Promoting good practices of nutrition in my community,” promoted by FANTA and HEP+. Closing comments were provided by USAID/Guatemala Health Officer from the Health and Education Office, Dr. Baudilio Lopez; FANTA Country Program Manager, Ms. Maggie Fischer; and Mr. German González, Secretary of the Guatemala Food Security and Nutrition Secretariat, who expressed the government’s commitment to continue to use the evidence provided by FANTA in its efforts to make advances in the prevention of stunting.
This event was of special importance for FANTA, as it provided us the opportunity to thank and recognize the support provided by USAID, the Government of Guatemala, and its partners. The collaboration and coordination of efforts were an essential element for the results obtained over the six years of our work in Guatemala.