Guatemala seeks to implement the Grow Up Healthy nutrition and health project to combat chronic malnutrition
The Government of Guatemala is seeking to implement a multi-annual programme entitled ‘Grow Up Healthy’, which aims to help combat chronic malnutrition in seven priority departments, an official source said today.
“This plan aims to improve selected practices, services and behaviours known to be key determinants of chronic malnutrition, in the priority intervention areas,” said Julio Héctor Estrada, head of the Finance Ministry during a meeting with elected members in the Congress of the Republic.
The project aims to strengthen primary care services, promote behavioural changes in families and communities and improve access to safe water and sanitation, among others. Grow Up Healthy will be financed by the World Bank through a loan of 100 million dollars and will benefit communities in the departments of Totonicapán, Sololá, Quiché, Huehuetenango, Chiquimula, Alta Verapaz and San Marcos.
“The ability to invest close to 800 million quetzals over four years in seven departments will help us reach areas of need in those departments,” said the official.
The loan needs to be approved by the Legislature for the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance to then implement the initiative. “We conducted a trial in ten municipalities of Huehuetenango that demonstrated that this programme can reduce the rate of chronic malnutrition,” said Health Minister Carlos Soto.
In addition, to ensure transparency and efficiency in the use of resources, the World Bank will conduct quarterly and annual audits of programme implementation. According to data from the Sixth National Survey of Maternal and Child Health (2014-2015), 46.5 per cent of children aged under 5 years suffer from chronic malnutrition.