“Better families” a social program developed by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry that promotes food and nutritional security, will be implemented by local governments

"Better families" a social program developed by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry that promotes food and nutritional security, will be implemented by local governments

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry, through their Sugar Foundation – Fundazucar-, signed a cooperation agreement with municipal authorities of the sixth bigger department of Guatemala, called Escuintla for the transfer of the methodology of the Better Families program, which promotes food security and nutrition, as well as the empowerment of women as agents of change and catalyst for development.

"Better families" a social program developed by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry that promotes food and nutritional security, will be implemented by local governments

Better Families is a program certified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education and promotes the training of women for behavior change from the individual, family and community level, recognizing in her a key agent to promote the improvement of health and nutritional status of the family, especially of the children.

The Better Families program has empowered and trained more than 532,000 women since its implementation in 1998. Due to the positive results, it was transferred to the Government of Honduras and was implemented twice as a public policy of the State in Guatemala. Likewise, 14 companies, foundations and international organizations have carried it out in different areas of the country with the aim of reducing chronic child malnutrition.

"Better families" a social program developed by the Guatemalan Sugar Industry that promotes food and nutritional security, will be implemented by local governments

The objective of this cooperation agreement is to replicate this social program that provides education to women, so they get to know practices for the proper selection, preparation, and consumption of food. As well as educating mothers in preventive health with sustainable actions to improve the conditions of their children, family, and community. Through this program, the implementation of inter-institutional coordination mechanisms for Food and Nutrition Security in the signatory municipalities is facilitated.

The agreement was signed by the mayors of four municipalities of the Department of Escuintla in the South of Guatemala, as well as by Luis Miguel Paiz, General Manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association and Maria Silvia Pineda Molina, Executive Director of Fundazucar.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is recognized for its commitment to disaster reduction

The recognition of Resilient Company to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry

The Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic -Cepredenac- presented the recognition of Resilient Company to the Guatemalan Sugar Industry.

The award recognizes the valuable contribution of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry in incorporating integral risk management to promote sustainable economic development and the construction of a more resilient Central America.

The recognition was received by Luis Miguel Paiz, General Manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua- who thanked on behalf of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry and added that “the 11 sugar mills that make up the Guatemalan Sugar Industry are aware that we have to prevent and anticipate any disaster, not to be reactive but rather focus on disaster prevention internally and towards communities”.

Organization for resilience

In recent years, Asazgua and the sugar mills have developed Public-Private Partnerships to address different problems on the South Coast of Guatemala, among which the Technical Risk Management Table (Public-Private Alliance) and Water Users´ Meetings can be highlighted, as well as the implementation of the Protocol for the Attention of Emergencies of the Sugar Industry.

In addition, during the last 10 years, Asazgua has received technical / scientific accompaniment and studies generated by the Private Institute for Climate Change Research –ICC. This has help the sugar mills to be aware of their main risks and threats related to the environment. Thanks to this contribution has allowed each company to develop its own actions to reduce its vulnerabilities, and sometimes with joint projects to reduce costs and have greater impacts.

Preparation and execution of the response

Through the different institutions that make up the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, community and family organization has been promoted for emergency care, achieving the formation of Local, Municipal and Departmental Coordinators for Disaster Reduction.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has protocols and procedures for responding to emergencies of both natural and sanitary origin.

In recent years, individual drills have been promoted, where each institution that makes up the Sugar Industry develops and evaluates their exercises, applying the provisions of their Occupational Safety protocols.