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Department of Totonicapán, in Guatemala, will create its Departmental System of Food and Nutritional Security
- This is an information system on food and nutritional security that was implemented in the municipality of Momostenango and will be replicated at the departmental level
18 August 2020 The Departmental Commission for Food and Nutritional Security (CODESAN, its Spanish acronym) of Totonicapán, Guatemala, recently endorsed the creation of the Departmental System for Food and Nutritional Security (SIDESAN, its Spanish acronym), which will act as a multi-sectoral data and information gathering body on the food and nutritional security (FNS) situation.
The decision was taken after the commission learned about the Municipal System of Food and Nutritional Security (SIMSAN, its Spanish acronym), which exists in the municipality of Momostenango and was developed in the framework of the National Information Platform on Nutrition Project (PiNN), implemented by CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), in coordination with the Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security (SESAN, its Spanish acronym), and financed by the European Union.
The SIMSAN was presented by Eduardo Say, coordinator of the PiNN Project, with the objective of replicating this information system at the departmental level.
In 2016, the department of Totonicapán was included in the so-called Dry Corridor, making it one of the priority departments for attention in the area of food and nutritional security. Totonicapán has a high rate of malnutrition cases, six out of every 10 children in first grade, between the ages of six and nine, have acute malnutrition and seven out of every 10 children under five have chronic malnutrition. In 2019, SESAN reported 139 cases of acute malnutrition and the death of three children as a result.
Jorge Mario Cabrera, departmental governor of Totonicapán, expressed his willingness to support all efforts to combat malnutrition as it is a priority issue for his administration, as well as food and nutritional security for the department's population. Cabrera added that he believes that this system will improve the quality of information and therefore more effective decision-making.
For Karen Linares, departmental assistant to the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH), SIMSAN will be very useful because it will help reflect the real situation in which the department finds itself on the issue of food security. In addition, Linares said the system will function as an alert for areas where more action is needed.
Ilse Chan, departmental director of education, said the system will make it possible to publicize all the programmes run by the ministries, some of which are aimed at people with special abilities.
The presentation of the SIMSAN, developed virtually, was attended by departmental delegates from the government institutions that make up the National System of Food and Nutritional Security (SINASAN), who make up the CODESAN; they unanimously decided to support the creation of the SIDESAN.