Partnering to Build Food Security for Guatemalan Communities

Food is a human right. In a world of plenty, no man, woman, or child should go to bed hungry. For 60 years, the United Nations World Food Programme—the largest anti-hunger humanitarian organization—has worked on the front lines of the worst crises, doing whatever it takes to deliver lifesaving food to vulnerable communities. But once the crisis has passed, we also work to empower communities to build resilience to future upheaval. That’s why we were so honored to receive the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize and why we push ourselves to the limit: so families can survive emergencies, build resilience and achieve long-term stability.

Delivering food assistance in emergencies is central to our work. From hurricanes and earthquakes to outbreaks of conflict and drought, and now COVID-19, the UN World Food Programme responds immediately, delivering humanitarian aid and food to communities suffering from hunger in more than 80 countries each year. Last year, we fed 114 million people, and are aiming to reach up to 120 million people in 2021. 

Guatemala: A Country Devastated by Poverty, the Pandemic and Hurricane Eta

Guatemala is one of the countries in Latin America whose people are most affected by inequality. While two-thirds of the overall population live on less than $2 per day, poverty affects indigenous people disproportionately, with 80 percent experiencing deprivation in multiple aspects of their lives, including food security, nutrition, health, and education. The country faces severe challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – Zero Hunger, which includes eliminating all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

Almost half the population of Guatemala cannot afford the equivalent cost of what’s provided in the basic UN World Food Programme food basket, including the vegetables, products and produce necessary to meet the nutritional requirements of communities. This has resulted in the prevalence of stunting in children under five – the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. A recent study indicated that “incomes fell, food insecurity doubled and dietary diversity declined” due to the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on food security and nutrition among rural households.

Natural disasters exacerbate these problems. Guatemala is among the 10 most vulnerable and exposed countries to natural hazards in the Latin America and Caribbean region. A study we released in October 2020 reported that, in 2018, 64 percent of households in Guatemala lost income due to climate events. In 2020, Hurricane Eta, one of the worst storms to hit Guatemala in decades, destroyed local infrastructure and rural livelihoods. That storm made life harder for millions of people already suffering from years of erratic weather, as well as the socioeconomic crisis of COVID-19.

In the country’s time of need, Herbalife Nutrition made a donation that contributed to the Eta emergency response efforts in Guatemala and enabled the UN World Food Programme to assist over 8,600 people for 60 days.

Delivering Hope One Meal at a Time in Guatemala

With critical drivers of hunger, including climate extremes and disasters, the UN World Food Programme is building the capacities of communities and governments to adapt to the growing challenges of climate change. The UN World Food Programme supports the government’s efforts to prevent stunting by providing specialized nutritious meals to children under two and promoting behavioral change, including prioritizing municipalities where stunting is most prevalent such as Alta and Baja Verapaz, Sololá, and Chimaltenango.

Our Partnership on Nutrition for Zero Hunger

We are proud to partner with Herbalife Nutrition which has been addressing hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition through the Nutrition for Zero Hunger initiative. We are grateful for the commitment and support for the UN World Food Programme’s emergency response efforts, and the allocation of the $333,000 to support our disaster relief activities in Guatemala.

Herbalife Nutrition’s contribution helped the UN World Food Programme reach more than 62,000 Guatemalan with critical assistance, continue to strengthen food security and nutrition in most vulnerable communities, and support their resilience and capacity-building efforts.

Visit our website to learn more about the UN World Food Programme.

World Food Program USAA Nutrition for Zero Hunger Partner

World Food Program USA is the recognized leader in America’s pursuit to end global hunger. Consistent with the mission of the UN World Food Programme, World Food Program USA works with US policymakers, corporations, foundations and individuals to help provide financial and in-kind resources and develop policies needed to alleviate global hunger.