While some progress has been made in reducing chronic malnutrition, Guatemala currently still ranks sixth worldwide with the highest prevalence of stunting, the first in Latin America. In regions such as the Western Highlands, 7 out of every 10 children under 5 years of age are stunted. Chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in children under 2 years of age have irreversible effects on physical and mental development, and limit opportunities for better living conditions in the future.
Poor diet quality and infectious diseases are the leading factors for high levels of chronic child malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in the country, with underlying causes that are related to food availability and access, education, unemployment, water, and sanitation. Most of these factors are closely related to social and economic development at the local level.
Promoting FBRs in Guatemala
In order to improve diet quality and diversity, FANTA and the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) carried out a study to develop local food-based recommendations (FBRs) to meet maternal and child nutritional requirements.
Actions that could be taken by municipal authorities to promote the FBRs and prevent chronic malnutrition in Guatemala were the focus of a webinar held in collaboration with the National Association of Municipalities (ANAM), Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security (SESAN), INCAP, and USAID partners HEP+ and Nexos Locales on December 1, 2016. The webinar targeted directors of the Municipal Women's Offices, Municipal Planning, and Financial Offices and included a presentation by the Mayor of Sacapulas, Juan Jose Tiu, on his municipality’s experience in promoting safe water and use of locally-made chlorinators.
During the webinar, the Food and Nutrition Security Municipal Guide, developed by HEP+ and FANTA, was presented as a tool to guide municipalities’ nutrition- and health-related activities.
This was the first time ANAM used a webinar as a modality of communication to directly reach municipal authorities, providing an opportunity to disseminate, exchange, and share information, best practices, and experiences that can guide municipalities’ actions to prevent stunting. It is expected that ANAM will conduct future events in 2017 in collaboration with USAID and partners.
Watch the recording (in Spanish)
Learn more about the presentation (in Spanish)