WFP/Francisco Fion

The Situation

Guatemala has the highest stunting rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, and ranks among the five countries with the highest prevalence in the world. The chronic undernutrition rate for children under age five is 49.8 percent, the highest in the region and the fourth highest in the world. Chronic undernutrition is strongly correlated with poverty, poor living conditions, low education levels, and inappropriate nutrition and feeding practices.

Guatemala is one of the 10 countries categorized as most susceptible to climate change, and the fourth most vulnerable to natural disasters in the region. Over the past two years, the prolonged dry spells led to reduced harvests or complete crop failures of maize and beans, which has critically affected subsistence farmers.

World Food Programme's Work

WFP has been present in Guatemala since 1974. WFP’s activities in Guatemala are geared toward reducing food insecurity, improving the nutritional status of mothers and children under age five and living conditions of vulnerable groups by increasing agricultural productivity and farmers’ marketing practices. These priorities, which aim to assist the most vulnerable portions of the population, were identified in close coordination with the Government of Guatemala.

  • In order to reduce chronic undernutrition 45,500 beneficiaries will receive supplementary feeding and 12,000 subsistence farmers will be assisted to improve livelihoods starting 2011. The Country Program will connect 3,000 small farmers to the markets.
  • Through WFP’s Purchase for Progress program, the UN agency targets 3,700 members of 36 small farmers’ organizations, aiming to build links between farmers and markets and encourage group marketing. Grain quantity and quality are improved through best practices and post-harvest management. Training modules emphasizes marketing and management skills, strengthening of farmers’ organizations, and women’s participation in decision-making positions.

Articles About Guatemala

WFP/Kaltouma Abdelaziz

Hacking Hunger Episode #29: A Storytellers Farewell

Guest Bio: Yocelin Ramírez García Yocelin lives in a village called Oscurana, Guatemala, where the nearest source of water is a 45-minute trek on foot. Guest Bio: Hamda Hamda is…

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WFP/Nathalie Magnien

‘I discovered a new world’ when I became a Storyteller

3 women, 3 very different stories, 1 training program—giving vulnerable young people a voice.

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Anna Watts

Championing Women and Girls Around the World

Meet our Spring grantees for the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls' Education

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Courtesy of Nancy McGirr

Giving Girls a Chance at Greatness

On International Women’s Day, World Food Program USA is proud to announce our recipients of the 2017 Catherine Bertini Trust Fund awards -- nonprofits Fotokids in Guatemala and Landesa in…

Ash Kosiewicz

Indigenous girls in Guatemala.
Suzanne Cordero

Fueling Girl Power In Guatemala

On World Food Day this Sunday, World Food Program USA is proud to announce The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund as our 2016 Bertini grant recipient.

Ash Kosiewicz

3 Refugee Crises You Might Not Know About

Driven by ongoing civil conflict and gang violence, refugee crises from Asia to Central America are increasingly drawing the world’s attention beyond ongoing conflict hotspots in the Middle East. With…

Ash Kosiewicz

Malnutrition: The Invisible Crisis

Few countries in the world suffer the consequences of childhood malnutrition like Guatemala. Just 1,000 miles from the U.S. border, the Central American nation has the fourth highest rate of…

Aliya Karim

How WFP Is Reducing Poverty in Central America

"I'd appeal to the heart of Americans," Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said on a recent visit to Washington D.C, "That they see this as a humanitarian issue, as an…

Kelsey Dean

In Photos: Malnutrition in Lush Guatemala

On a trip to Guatemala, PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan and Chicago Council on Global Affairs Senior Fellow Roger Thurow found an agricultural paradox. The nutrient-rich land is healthy…

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