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Guatemala launches Grand National Crusade for Nutrition

  |   SUN Country Network

Guatemala launched one of President Alejandro Giammattei’s most significant projects in January: its Grand National Crusade for Nutrition. It will focus on detecting cases of malnutrition in 114 priority municipalities in order to eliminate this scourge from the population.

The priority focus will be on high levels of extreme poverty, food insecurity and chronic malnutrition among children under five, explained Maritza de Oliva, Secretary of SESAN (Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition) and SUN Government Focal Point in Guatemala, on announcing the plan.

The Grand National Crusade for Nutrition is a national strategy that aims to reduce malnutrition in the country by between 5 and 7 percentage points by bringing all of the country’s sectors together to improve the nutrition of Guatemalan families: central and municipal government, private enterprise, non-governmental organizations, international cooperation, academia, faith-based organizations and civil society. It will focus on the poorest and most disadvantaged in the country, implementing a comprehensive approach that will address the multiple causes of the problem.

This will be achieved by improving coordination among the network of health services, expanding Primary Health Care (APSA) and increasing access to health promotion, prevention and care together with nutrition, education, physical and economic access to food, clean water and sanitation, and social protection.

The Grand National Crusade has five priority areas: (1) Preventing chronic malnutrition and anaemia; (2) Reducing mother-and-child morbidity and mortality; (3) Promoting food security and nutrition among the Guatemalan population; (4) Strengthening basic health care services across the country, ensuring they receive basic drugs and supplies in a sustained and timely manner; and (5) Preventing infectious and chronic diseases.


“The time has come to put an end to malnutrition in Guatemala. We will identify where it exists and among whom and we will begin to reclaim our children”

Alejandro Giammattei, President of Guatemala


Working across different strategic areas of action, the Grand National Crusade will promote communication for social and behavioural change with a comprehensive focus on individuals (boys, girls, women, adolescents), the family, the community and institutions.

In coordination with all actors involved, including international cooperation, the Grand Crusade for Nutrition will be regularly monitored and evaluated by the Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SESAN) in order to identify the short and medium-term progress and outcomes that will be needed to achieve a long-term reduction in malnutrition, particularly chronic.



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