Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tackling Chronic Hunger in Quiché

The Maya Food Security Programme is an initiative designed to combat chronic malnutrition through the distribution of monthly food rations and the sponsorship of workshops, fairs and street theater on nutritional education. The program also "promotes best practices and services for livelihoods, natural resources and risk management, and for small business development."
Over ten thousand Guatemalan families in Quiché benefit from this program sponsored by Save the Children, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Frito Lay Foundation and various community organizations. 
Quiché was one of the department's most fiercely struck by the Guatemalan counterinsurgency project and is today one of the country's poorest departments. The six municipalities that they serve (Sacapulas, Cunén, Nebaj, Cotzal, Chajul and Uspantán) are especially among the country's most vulnerable.
In fact, between 86 and 95 percent of the area's population lives below the poverty line, while 29 to 41 percent are extremely poor, making them six of the 125 most poverty-stricken municipalities in Guatemala, according to the presidency's Secretariat of Planning and Programming.
It looks like a really successful program for the people of Quiché and one that hopefully can be replicated throughout other areas of Guatemala. However, I do wonder how much overlap there is between this mixed public-private initiative and those that are government run. US AID has photos of the various projects on its website.

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