In May 2014, 12 community health volunteers received certificates of recognition for their role in reducing the number of underweight children in their communities from Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández and Minister of Health Yolany Batres, as well as U.S. Ambassador Lisa Kubiske. The event was developed in the community of San Pedro Lomas, a small town in Honduras’ Department of Intibucá, where health volunteers have helped reduce the number of malnourished children. In Honduras, undernutrition is a significant concern; more than 40 percent of children under the age of five are estimated to suffer from stunting.
Under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government has worked closely with the Government of Honduras to address chronic undernourishment, joining multiple donors in supporting President Hernández’s launch earlier this year of the $130 million Dry Corridor Alliance initiative to drive sustainable development in southwestern Honduras. Among the goals of the Alliance is reducing stunting by 20 percent in children under the age of five, a target that is aligned with Feed the Future’s nutrition goals in the region.
In San Pedro Lomas, such a dramatic reduction in undernutrition was made possible in large part thanks to promotion of health and nutrition messages at the community level through Feed the Future programming. The community was also able to establish a Nutrition Training Center with the support of Feed the Future. Community health volunteers use the center to provide hands-on cooking and feeding demonstrations to parents with young children. Across Honduras, U.S. Government programs trained more than 28,000 community health workers in child health and nutrition in 2013, building the capacity of agricultural communities like San Pedro Lomas to help families address issues such as sanitation and crop diversification that can impact maternal and child health during the first 1,000 days between pregnancy and age two.
As part of the visit, President Hernández and his staff saw firsthand how Feed the Future and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Education programs are working together to improve education, nutrition and food access. Not only has nutrition for young children greatly improved in San Pedro Lomas, but the local Food for Education program is training teachers, supporting student transportation and small-scale infrastructure improvements, and enabling 118 students at the local elementary school to receive daily meals. President Hernández aims to replicate the methodology and success of these programs in his social assistance initiative, Vida Mejor.
Learn more about Feed the Future results in Honduras on its updated country page.