Guatemala: A Story of Resilience

In the 1990s, WFP worked with the Government of Guatemala to support the most vulnerable and food-insecure communities through Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) programmes. Today, almost 20 years later, these communities continue implementing and improving the activities from the initial programme and are considered resilient.

In rural Guatemala, droughts and recurrent natural disasters make it difficult for many families to cover their basic food needs.

In 1991, the Government of Guatemala partnered with WFP to help the most vulnerable communities - provide them with food and strengthen their livelihoods to withstand natural disasters.

Between 1991 and 1996, various community groups took part in Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) programmes to improve their long-term food security. 

FFA is one of WFP’s key programmes to meet immediate food needs of vulnerable people by having them build or boost assets that will benefit the whole community. 

In Guatemala, WFP provided necessary food to enable people to participate in a variety of water and soil conservation, reforestation activities and crop-diversification trainings. The Government of Guatemala provided technical assistance through its Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. 

Joint efforts bring long-term food security

The communities’ involvement and dedication was essential to ensure ownership and sustainability of the activities.

In fact, when WFP left the initiatives in the hands of the community, there was already an increase in food security and land productivity as new irrigation systems were built. 

Families have increased their income diversifying their agricultural production and selling surplus.

Today, these communities continue implementing and improving the activities from the initial programme. 

Also neighbouring communities replicated these activities. Francisco, a farmer that was part of the project, tells us “other people saw the results and replicated our projects, on their own. Our whole village has been improved, not only the project participants, but almost the entire village.”  

Today, almost 20 years later, these communities are considered resilient. They have improved their overall food security and withstood major climatic events such as recent hurricanes Mitch and Stan.