The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Basic Nutrition Programme in Guyana was recognized for its development impact by the U.S. Treasury in an award ceremony yesterday.
U.S. Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, presented the “Development Impact Honors” award to IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno during the ceremony at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.
According to a statement from the bank, the programme in Guyana has benefited over 41,000 infants in 79 health centres.
“Distribution of micronutrient supplements “sprinkles” reduced overall cases of anemia by around 30 percent among pregnant women and children under five years old. Since 2002, the IDB has supported the Government of Guyana’s efforts to reduce early childhood malnutrition through a $5 million programme.”
IDB said that malnutrition in Guyana is high by international standards, particularly among children between six months and two years old. Low birth weight and stunted growth are also relatively high compared to other countries. This, it was noted, is especially true in rural Amerindian communities, where rates of chronic malnutrition are higher.
Children receive micronutrient supplements and food coupons under the programme, which also finances training in basic nutrition and communication skills for health staff, along with communication campaigns to promote better nutrition.
Coupon distribution and other programme activities reduced by about 30 percent the prevalence of poor food consumption and altered metabolic state in participating communities. The incidence of moderately and severely stunted growth was reduced by 21 percent, and breastfeeding rates improved by 12 percent.
“I am especially pleased that you have chosen to recognize the Basic Nutrition Programme in Guyana, because this programme tackles a problem that often stays below the radar. Stunting is the result of chronic nutritional deficiency during the first thousand days of a child’s life,” said President Moreno.
“Today the IDB is focused on learning more about what works –and about what doesn’t work. We are using what we learn to craft programmes, like this one in Guyana, that unleash the potential of our people,” he added.
A total of over 55 organizations were nominated for the awards, which were inaugurated this year. Along with the IDB, the U.S. Treasury recognized programmes carried out by the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
The Guyana programme has been featured in the new online platform called MapAmericas which allows users to easily view and track the results of development projects financed by the IDB and carried out by member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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