PCI Partners with Save the Children to Implement USAID-Funded Program in Guatemala

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Food assistance program will improve health and nutrition in women and children in rural areas.

Children in Western Guatemala Highlands

"These inviting people have embraced our previous PCI programs and we have seen some definitive progress in school attendance and maternal and infant health," says George Guimaraes, CEO of PCI.

PCI (Project Concern International) is partnering with Save the Children to implement a new USAID-funded multi-year assistance program (under the Office of Food for Peace) to address the underlying causes of food insecurity in Guatemala’s western highlands. With Save the Children as the primary development organization, PCI’s portion of the project will total roughly $10M over the six year program.

The project’s overall aim is to address the three principal and interrelated causes of food insecurity in the Western Highlands: 1) limits of economic productivity of rural households; 2) deficiencies in health and nutrition of women and children; and 3) community-level vulnerabilities to disasters and shocks. The program will be implemented in 13 municipalities in the departments of Quiché, Huehuetenango and Quetzaltenango. PCI will be leading the project’s efforts in Huehuetenango where it already has established programs with its Casa Materna clinic for maternal and child health, and its food for education programs. PCI is also currently managing a disaster resiliency project in Guatemala's Mixco region.

Guatemalan mothers and children face some of the worst health challenges in the world. In remote, isolated regions, the majority of women still give birth at home with little or no access to hospitals or other clinical health services. Additionally, Guatemala reports the highest infant mortality rates in Latin America. Nearly 80% of deaths of children under five years of age are recorded among the poorest 20% of the population where malnutrition and preventable, life-threatening disease are still commonplace.

"We are delighted to work with Save the Children to help increase stability to this vulnerable region of Guatemala. These inviting people have embraced our previous PCI programs and we have seen some definitive progress in school attendance and maternal and infant health. We are confident this new program will help us build on past success," stated George Guimaraes, CEO of PCI.

PCI began working in Guatemala in 1974, bringing basic health care to Mayan communities around Lake Atitlan. Throughout the 1980s, during the civil war that ravaged Guatemala, PCI trained an extensive network of volunteers and local leaders to deliver health services to families in need. Building on three decades of experience, PCI continues to work with rural Guatemalan communities to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. PCI has also successfully implemented numerous projects in the country designed to increase commercialization opportunities, diversify agricultural practices and improve the health and nutritional status of vulnerable communities.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011, PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 16 countries worldwide. PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefitting over 6.7 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI’s current annual budget is nearly $50 million and the organization has 600 employees worldwide. PCI’s headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative.

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Annette Gregg
PCI Global
858-279-9690 x368
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