Guatemala: Alliances to improve the situation of Children, Food security and Nutrition


Guatemala has the highest prevalence of stunting of children under 5 in Latin America, ranking fourth worldwide, and its national undernutrition rate is the highest in Latin America. The Joint Programme's aim was to improve nutrition among rural and indigenous communities by improving the production of foods by households for their own consumption and for sale, improving feeding behaviours, promoting healthy environments and contributing to gender equity.

At the municipal level, the programme aimed to increase the demand for, and the provision of, health and nutrition services. At the national level, its objectives were:

  1. Strengthening institutional coordination, including coordinating and harmonizing the involved actors;
  2. Developing strategies to improve the quality of health services and food practices at the household level, considering children as a priority;
  3. Repositioning the use of traditional local foods in light of food price increases and climate change;
  4. Facilitating the capitalization of economic incentives;
  5. Linking small producers to social government programmes as an alternative market; and
  6. Establishing the Food and Nutrition Security Early Warning Observatory.

Main achievements included:

  • Strengthening the capacities of production, economic access and food consumption of families living in conditions of physical and social vulnerability in the 8 municipalities of Totonicapan: 3,946 families (including 3,597 women) were supported in the cultivation of maize, corn and other crops in the yard/home to strengthen their family production.
  • Supporting producer organizations with income generating activities: the programme strengthened the organizational, administrative, production and trade capacities of 18 producer organizations that are made up of 742 producers and farmers (of which 408 are women and 334 men).
  • At least 3,825 families have implemented good food and nutrition and healthy home practices. This was achieved by strengthening the knowledge and skills of municipal extension teams, supporting the training of community workers on health issues and the work of peer counselors, as well as the multiplier effect that was generated from establishing teaching school gardens.
  • A Food Security Municipal Committee was established in Totonicapán to develop initiatives to reduce chronic malnutrition.
  • Three municipal councils were allocated funds for food security. The Departmental Development Council of Totonicapan designated almost a quarter of its regular budget (Q11 million) to improve the Food Security and Nutrition conditions in some prioritized communities.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Guatemala (in Spanish).


The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 03 Dec 2009 - 03 Dec 2012
Net funded amount $7,488,015
Participating UN agencies FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP
National partners Ministerio de Salud Pública y Asistencia Social, Secretaria de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional, Ministerio de Agricultura, Ministerio de Educación, Municipalidades, Gobiernos Locales, Autoridades comunitarias del departamento de Totonicapán, Guatemala
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