A woman works in a field at an Action Against Hunger project in Guatemala.


Poverty, unemployment and climate change are having a devastating impact on vulnerable communities.

Guatemala, the largest economy in Central America, has one of the highest inequality rates in Latin America.

Malnutrition, poverty and maternal and infant mortality are all high, especially in rural and indigenous areas.

An estimated 50,000 people cross the southern border of the USA from Central America on an irregular basis every year, primarily as a result of unemployment, poverty, violence and the impact of climate change on nutrition.

Public safety, migration, drug trafficking, education and poor access to clean water and basic sanitation are some of the challenges facing Guatemalans. More than half of its population lives below the national poverty threshold, making them highly vulnerable to seasonal hunger and food shortages.

Country facts

  • 17.2m

    Guatemala has a population of more than 17 million people.

  • 126

    Guatemala ranks 126th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index.

  • 46.7%

    Sadly, 46.7% of Guatemalan children under five suffer from malnutrition.

Action Against Hunger’s work in Guatemala

In 2019, our food assistance programme reached over 18,000 in Guatemala “dry corridor” – a region that’s particularly vulnerable to both severe drought and flooding. This project also contributed to the prevention, identification and diagnosis of just under 5,000 children under five at risk of malnutrition.

In the department of Solalá, we also started a water, sanitation and hygiene project that will benefit more than 195,000 people in 120 communities. The activities focus on improving the management of community and municipal water and sanitation systems to make them more effective and sustainable.

We also carried out research projects and started new initiatives on the link between development and migration, which has become increasingly important in Central America.

Our reach

  • 5,000

    We treated 5,000 children under five in Guatemala for malnutrition in 2019.

  • 37

    We have 37 staff based in Chiquimula, Zacapa and El Progreso.

  • 1996

    We've been working in Guatemala since 1996.

Save lives todayA child is screened for malnutrition at an Action Against Hunger treatment centre in Guatemala.

Save lives today

Help more communities in Guatemala beat hunger.

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