Plan chosen to fight poverty in the Americas
22 August 2012: Plan will receive US$1.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to improve food security and nutrition among indigenous children and women in Guatemala.
Plan has been allocated the largest share of US$7 million committed by IDB to 7 civil society organisations in the Americas region for projects targeted at benefiting vulnerable groups and low income communities. The money has been provided by the Japanese government and is managed by the IDB.
The bank received close to 1,900 proposals from 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and carried out a thorough evaluation process. The final selection was made by officials at Japan Special Fund Poverty Reduction Program.
“To be awarded the largest share of funding is a recognition of Plan’s groundbreaking work in reducing child-poverty among socially excluded communities in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 50 years of our organisation’s presence in the continent,” said Roland Angerer, Plan Regional Director for the Americas.
Plan’s food and nutrition project in Guatemala will run in 5 municipalities of Baja Verapaz province over the next 4 years. The organisation has worked in the area for 15 years where about half the population of over 270,000 is indigenous.
Malnutrition and food security are among the main issues affecting indigenous communities. Over 65% of the entire indigenous population in Guatemala suffers from chronic malnutrition. Children in particular are most susceptible.
In Baja Verapaz, successive crop losses have resulted in a further increase in cases of malnutrition among children, mainly caused by unstable food supplies and lack of diversity in the diet.
Reaching thousands of families
“Through latest funding Plan will be able to reach nearly 2,000 families in 77 indigenous communities in Baja Verapaz. Children under the age of 5 and those diagnosed with acute or chronic malnutrition will be a major priority,” said Debora Cobar, Plan’s country director in Guatemala.
One of the key objectives of the project will be to increase food availability and access through faming activities and income generation. This will include increasing the production of grains and improving food variety through use of family gardens.
“Plan will work towards achieving a target where all participating families increase their grain production by half during the term of the project,” said Debora.
“Additionally, education will be a key aspect of community work where indigenous families will learn about diet and nutrition, hygiene practices and early health warning signs.”
Find out more about Plan’s work in Guatemala
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