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Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan calls for women's empowerment during visit to WFP programmes in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY – At the end of a five-day visit to Guatemala, Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan called for increased inclusion of women in development action, including in in micro-finance and agricultural trade and production. Princess Sarah noted how this increases their impact, with improved nutrition and a better quality of life for their families.

Princess Sarah – who is Senior Special Adviser to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition - visited the Central American country from 10-14 July, and held meetings with representatives from the Government, the private sector, international organizations and groups of indigenous women and midwives to discuss Guatemala’s food security and nutrition situation. She also met smallholder farmers in the departments of Zacapa, Alta Verapaz, and Chiquimula, where official chronic malnutrition rates are very high, respectively at 40, 50 and 56 percent.

"When women are included in decision making and at the centre of policy for development actions to improve the lives of vulnerable people, we see better results,” said Princess Sarah Zeid at the end of her visit. “We must work together to have a better impact on the lives of women and girls.”

In the Corazón de Maíz community in Panzós, Alta Verapaz, where 93 percent of the population belongs to the Mayan Q'eqchi' and Poqomchi ethnic groups, Princess Sarah interacted with women who participated in a savings and loans groups, as part of WFP’s indigenous women's economic empowerment project implemented with the support of the Government of Canada. She also met members of Nutrition Brigades, a government initiative supported by WFP, who make door-to-door visits to detect cases of malnutrition.

Princess Sarah also visited the Dry Corridor, a strip of land across El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua that is on the frontlines of the climate crisis – experiencing severe and recurrent drought. There, she met  participants of the European Union-funded Pro-Resilience programme who are involved in reforestation initiatives and vegetable growing. In the community of San Miguel, in Huite, Zacapa, she spoke to farmers and visited a market in Chiquimula, an initiative promoted by WFP in partnership with local authorities to promote local products and improve market access for smallholder producers.

Princess Sarah’s visit to Guatemala comes right after her trip to Bolivia where she participated in the launch of WFP’s "Ancestral Knowledge, Natural Flavours" initiative that is inspired by the deep cultural roots and biodiversity of the country’s food heritage and gastronomy, with the aim of strengthening food security, sovereignty, and resilience to the climate crisis for indigenous and rural communities.

Note to editors:

Photos of the visit are available via this link.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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For more information please contact (email address:

Alejandro Arriola, WFP/Guatemala City,
Tel. +502 23006000, Ext 2158

Alexis Masciarelli, WFP/Panama City,
Tel. +507 66715355