Nutrition initiative reaches first rural families in Guatemala
Guatemala City, Apr 4 (EFE).- The private initiative called “Guatemalans for Nutrition” helped last weekend the first families in the northwest of the country, one of the regions hardest hit by food insecurity.
The initial care for the families began on March 31 in the department (province) of Huehuetenango, some 250 kilometers northwest of Guatemala City, according to organizers.
“We are satisfied with the work, because the medical and nutritional consultation allowed us to define the appropriate nutritional recovery plan for each one of them,” said José Silva, executive director of the “Guatemalans for Nutrition” initiative.
The project was created by the business conglomerate Castillo Hermanos, with an investment of US$15 million, with the objective of breaking the chain of malnutrition in Guatemala.
The project chose to start operations in Huehuetenango, one of the three departments with the highest malnutrition rates, according to official estimates, in a country where one out of every two children under five years of age suffers from malnutrition.
Silva added that personal medical attention began on March 31 and assisted the first 12 people.
“We are very excited to start working together with the communities to lower malnutrition rates and learn good health, hygiene and nutrition practices,” said Silva.
According to the project director, the initiative is expected to operate for three years and benefit some 3,000 families, under a sustainable model that will contribute to “reducing the region’s malnutrition indicators.”
The project is based on five pillars to fight malnutrition: primary health care, nutritional support, water and environmental sanitation, access to food, and family economic development.
The camp set up in Huehuetenango, which will be replicated in other areas of the country, consists of a series of mobile modules built in Europe to be able to travel to areas of Guatemala that are difficult to access.
These mobile modules, called “Nutrimóviles”, have more than 30 professionals from different areas prepared to assist people.
The project has its own energy production system using solar panels and another system to control waste, with the aim of having the best possible impact on the communities.
In Guatemala, 59% of its 18 million inhabitants live below the poverty line and around 20% suffer from extreme poverty, according to data from various international and local organizations.
The Guatemalan Ministry of Health’s National Food and Nutritional Security Information System reported that 18 children under five years of age died due to lack of food in 2022, and 24 children perished under the same conditions in 2021. EFE