A three-year IDRC project to make food more secure and nutritious in Guatemala ─ a country with one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world ─ was launched in Guatemala on December 5. Food Insecurity and Under-Nutrition in Guatemala brings together leading researchers at Guatemala’s Instituto de Agricultura, Recursos Naturales y Ambiente at the Universidad Rafael Landivar, in collaboration with scientists at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University in Canada, to measure and compare the effectiveness of food security and nutrition initiatives in Guatemala to determine which have proven most effective in improving small-scale farming.
Roughly one-quarter of Guatemalans do not have enough to eat. Children under five fare the worst: almost half ─ 49% ─ are chronically malnourished, the highest rate in Latin America. The Guatemalan government, international donors, NGOs, and the private sector have funded hundreds of initiatives ─ mainly focused on food distribution and income transfers ─ but food security and poverty indicators in have not improved in 20 years, indicating that past investments have been ineffective.
Working with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, the IDRC-supported researchers will also ensure that research recommendations help influence decisions by the Guatemalan government and other national and international development actors.
To learn more, read the project profile in English, French, or Spanish.