Peru focuses on agriculture and education to lower child malnutrition

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / MiroNovak
© Getty Images / MiroNovak

Related tags: Malnutrition

Peru and the World Food Programme strives to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and nutritional capacities by 2022.

In releasing its new strategy, the World Food Programme (WFP), is pursuing an advocacy, partnering and convening role in Peru as it steps up its commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

WFP will utilize and collate social mobilization, evidence generation and communications to achieve these goals. In September, Nutraingredients-LATAM relayed how Peru is strengthening its dedication to reducing child malnutrition by implementing a communication strategy focused on nutrition​. Now, the Peruvian government is stepping up its mission to introduce initiatives and clear actions to lower the rate of child malnutrition.

Peru is dedicating its efforts to:

  • Strengthening its partnerships throughout all sectors;
  • Improving nutrition status by 2022 by decelerating common forms of malnutrition including anemia, overweight and obesity;
  • Enhancing capacities to manage food security, disaster preparedness and response, and social protection policies and programs by 2022.

Agriculture and education

Economic development and social programming have been high on the agenda for Peru for ten years. Moving forward, Peru will bolster its efforts in agriculture through rice fortification and education initiatives.

Following a visit from INCAP (Nutrition Institute of Central America and Panama), the organization and WFP devised a technical document that sets out rice fortification monitoring and surveillance practices.

National school feeding program, Qali Warma, the project Haku Wiñay from FONCODES and WFP have also established a home-grown school feeding program, which received a visit from the Minister of Development and Social Inclusion in Peru. During the visit, which strived to bring more awareness to the promoted efforts, the organizations sought to make inroads to encourage the purchase of fresh vegetables.

In metropolitan Lima, consumers now have access to the information tool, AgroChatea. The new free-of-charge application was built via a joint project between the Ministry of Agriculture and WFP. It supports agriculture and rice fortification by allowing people to ask and find out about the price of agricultural items in the wholesale markets.

So what needs to happen before 2022?

Current challenges facing Peru include the President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra’s proposal to enact early general elections in 2020. This motion sits alongside plans to end the legislative and presidential terms of office a year earlier, in July 2020.

With the move creating increasing tensions and uncertainty, WFP is increasing its working relationship with the government to support policy integration that will help ensure SDG2 is met.

“Sustainable Peru”​, an event organized by the non-profit civil association, Peru 2021, is one initiative created to contribute to the 2022 attainment objectives. Tania Goossens, Country Director in Peru, attended and participated at the event, which involved nutrition stakeholders and action mapping.

Peru 2021 adopts a Sustainable Development model which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WFP is pledging its support to the Zero Hunger goal by putting forward nutrition stakeholder and action mapping as a “multi-actor and multisectoral effort”​. The organization states that this is vital to “establish a national alliance against hunger and malnutrition”.

Reaching all of Peru

Looking ahead, Peru will also seek ways to extrapolate the steps already taken to address poverty and malnutrition. Considerable variation exists in Peru, with malnutrition reaching 33.4%​ in “remote rural areas in Sierra and Amazon regions”.

The focus for Peru is to ensure these initiatives and their subsequent results reach communities outside of urban areas, including those in remote mountains and jungle regions, which require more nutritional information and resources.

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