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Nutrition, Mortality, Food Security, and Livelihoods Survey Based on SMART Methodology

  • Special Report
  • Guatemala
  • August 14, 2015
Nutrition, Mortality, Food Security, and Livelihoods Survey Based on SMART Methodology

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Guatemala comprises up to 20 different livelihood zones (LHZ), and 54.9 percent of its population lives in rural areas. Its Dry Corridor suffered a long-term drought in 2014, with no rain during 45 consecutive days in some regions. This drought occurred after the sowing season and was preceded by three years of irregular rains in the region, which increased households’ vulnerability to food insecurity and depleted their coping mechanisms. In addition to the 2014 drought, a rust disease affected coffee crops, reducing the number of laborers hired for the harvest.

To assess the nutritional status of children 0-59 months of age and the mortality, health, and food security situation of rural households in Guatemala’s Dry Corridor (stratified into LHZ 5 in the Western stratum and LHZ 7, 8, and 9 in the Eastern stratum), a Nutrition, Mortality, Food Security, and Livelihoods Survey was conducted between March 11-27, 2015. The survey was a FEWS NET initiative implemented by Action Contre la Faim (ACF). A brief summary of the findings follows. 

Acute malnutrition

The prevalence of wasting was low in both strata. Boys were more affected than girls in the Western stratum, however. 


Both strata showed exceptionally high levels of stunting, and the prevalence of stunting was higher among children 24-59 months of age. 

Breastfeeding practices

  • Nearly 50 percent of children under six months of age were not exclusively breastfed.
  • Meal frequency was low among children 6- 23 months of age.
  • The vast majority of children 6-23 months of age did not receive a minimum acceptable diet 


The Crude Death Rate (CDR) in the Western and Eastern strata was 0.05 deaths/10,000 people/day and 0.33 deaths/10,000 people/day, respectively. The Under-five Death Rate (U5DR) in the Western and Eastern strata was 0.42 deaths/10,000 children under five years/day, and 0.27 deaths/10,000 children under five years/day, respectively. 

Occasionally, FEWS NET will publish a Special Report that serves to provide an in-depth analysis of food security issues of particular concern that are not covered in FEWS NET’s regular monthly reporting. These reports may focus on a specific factor driving food security outcomes anywhere in the world during a specified period of time. For example, in 2019, FEWS NET produced a Special Report on widespread flooding in East Africa and its associated impacts on regional food security.

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