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U.S. Treasury recognizes IDB’s Basic Nutrition Program in Guyana

Secretary Timothy Geithner presented award to President Luis Alberto Moreno in Washington

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Basic Nutrition in Guyana was recognized for its development impact by the U.S. Treasury in an award ceremony today. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented the “Development Impact Honors” award to IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno during a ceremony on June 7 at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. 

The IDB Basic Nutrition Program in Guyana has benefited over 41,000 infants in 79 health centers. 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 program. Malnutrition in Guyana is high by international standards, particularly among children between 6 months and 2 years old. Low birth weight and stunted growth are relatively high in Guyana compared to other countries. This is especially true in rural Amerindian communities, where rates of chronic malnutrition are higher. 

Children receive micronutrient supplements and food coupons under the program. The program also finances training in basic nutrition and communication skills for health staff, along with communication campaigns to promote better nutrition. 

Coupon distribution and other program 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 Program in Guyana, because this program 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 programs, 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 programs carried out by the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. 

The Guyana program 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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