When will you deal with malnutrition, Mr. President?
“Yesmin died this Monday’s early morning. Being only 2 years old, a pneumonia caused by malnutrition ended with her life in eastern Guatemala. During the last weeks, she fought to gain weight, but the sequels of her premature birth, her bad nutrition and her home’s condition weakened her”. With this note, the EFE news agency reports only one of the many cases of the situation of boys and girls in Guatemala, a country where, having fertile land and a diversity of climates (and therefore food), it ashames that children die from malnutrition.
A few hours later the note was published, not only the EFE agency but in other national and international newspapers, the Guatemala government announced in their website the launch of NutriNiño, a social program with the ambitious goal to support 200 thousand kids from 10 departments. Numbers go, numbers come and the things look the same as last year, when the government stayed silent in front of the budget reduction to combat malnutrition in the middle of the pandemic.
As if that was not enough, Vox Populi published on January 5 an investigation about the president’s entire robust culinary team, (according to SAAS records, which includes:
- Seven technicians in food preparation I with a salary of Q5 500
- 15 technicians in food preparation II with a salary of Q6 500
- Seven technicians in food preparation III with a salary of Q7 500
- Two technicians in food preparation IV with a salary of Q8 500
- Seven assistants in food preparation II with a salary of Q3 950
- Ten presidential waiters I with a salary of Q6 000
- Two presidential waiters II with a salary of Q7 000
The monthly cost of the cooks and kitchen assistants sums up Q233 150 and presidential waiters costs Q74 thousand which makes a total of Q307 thousand 150. So shameless! As the Mesoamerican Institute of Permaculture mentioned in this article: «If feeding the gluttony of power groups with public resources from taxes and loans is totally reprehensible, it shows even more impudence when, in addition to putting personal interests before the welfare of the peoples, It seeks to obtain a political cut by making the population believe that the delivery of food is thanks to the goodness of the governments.
Any argument that Alejandro Giammattei and his “entourage” say about the malnutrition reduction, will be empty words until the rates actually decrease and not increase. Maybe, and only maybe we will start thinking whether we believe the president’s words.