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Children’s organisation Plan International 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 seven 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 1900 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 five municipalities of Baja Verapaz province over the next four 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 per cent of the entire indigenous population in Guatemala suffers from chronic malnutrition. Children in particular are most susceptible to malnutrition. 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.
“Through latest funding Plan will be able to reach nearly 2000 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, Country Director of Plan 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 Cobar. “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.”
- Founded 75 years ago, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest child-centred community development organisations with programmes in 50 developing countries. Since 1962 the organisation has operations in the Americas.
- Plan started working in Guatemala in 1978 and works with over 38,000 children in 640 communities. In total, Plan is reaching about 500,000 people through its community development programmes.
- Established in 1959, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, with a strong commitment to achieve measurable results, increased integrity, transparency and accountability.
- In addition to Plan in Guatemala, six other NGOs will executive poverty reduction projects in Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru.
- The Japanese Trust Funds have been a major IDB-Japan partnership effort and contribution to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean. Resources from the Japanese Trust Funds have been consistently targeted to support small and low-income countries in the social sectors, the environment, infrastructure, and productive activities.
Media contacts:María José DufourqInformation Officer, Plan in GuatemalaEmail: Maria.Dufourq@plan-international.orgMobile: +502 5318 1001 Davinder KumarPress Officer (Americas & Asia), Plan International Headquarters, UKEmail: Davinder.Kumar@plan-international.orgMobile: +44 (0) 7739 326164