Guatemala City, Sep 13 (EFE).- The Guatemalan company Castillo Hermanos has launched an ambitious program backed by a $15-million investment that aims to fight “the scourge of malnutrition and build, instead, a virtuous circle of good health and nutrition” in the Central American country, the company said in a statement.
The “Guatemalans for Nutrition” program proposes to implement a holistic model that focuses on the causes that determine the prevalence of malnutrition, according to the statement.
“The initiative began a year ago with the analysis of studies on malnutrition in the country and, on the other hand, with constant approaches to the affected communities with the purpose of creating bonds of trust and respect,” the company explained.
Work was also done to identify suppliers that would work on the design and construction of the necessary infrastructure to make the program viable.
ARPA, a Spanish company specializing in the engineering and manufacture of mobile campaign equipment with comprehensive solutions for food, logistics, accommodation, health, water, waste management, energy and telecommunications, was hired.
Also on board the program is the Catholic University of America in Washington, which is accompanying the project through annual impact evaluations and the construction of the baseline of the most important indicators.
“Malnutrition is a terrible reality that hits the country’s children and compromises their future opportunities, it is an economic and social problem related to underdevelopment,” Castillo Hermanos said.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Guatemala has one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition, with nearly half of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition.
The following objectives have been defined for this replicable model program:
1. Steadily reduce the prevalence of chronic malnutrition in the intervened communities of Huehuetenango and Quiché.
2. Eradicate child mortality caused by acute malnutrition in the intervened communities of Huehuetenango and Quiche.
3. Generate conditions that stimulate the economic growth of the communities and families benefiting from the program.
4. Stimulate the change of at-home behaviors that allow the sustainability of nutritional recovery.
5. Generate technical evidence to define better strategies to address the problem of malnutrition.
“To achieve these objectives, a work plan was defined that consists of five lines of work and will be executed in various municipalities of Huehuetenango and Quiché, the company explained.
LINES OF WORK
• PRIMARY HEALTH CARE
• NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT
• WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION