LIMA, 23 November 2006 - In the presence of the regional directors of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and UNICEF and President Alan García Pérez, the “Lima Act” was signed in Peru’s Government Palace. This act expresses the commitment of the three United Nations agencies to unite their efforts in support of the Government of Peru’s plan to reduce chronic malnutrition by 5 percentage points.
This accord, reflecting the decision of the agencies to make a more coordinated effort, was signed by the regional directors of the WFP, Pedro Medrano, the PAHO/WFP, Mirta Roses and UNICEF, Nils Kastberg. It was presented within the framework of the Regional Technical Consultation Programme “Towards the Eradication of Child Malnutrition” in the Andean countries by 2015, organized by the WFP and other partners. The President of Peru indicated that the central objectives of his government are, first, to maintain the country’s growth conditions, and second, to improve the systems for focalizing and efficiently channeling resources to the most excluded sectors. “Private investment, added to increasing public investment, is the substantive factors, the backdrop against which we can contribute to fighting chronic malnutrition”, declared the President.
In representation of the three regional directors, Pedro Medrano said that “our objective is to join our efforts, not only to reach the goal of reducing by half the number of persons suffering from hunger by 2015, as established in the United Nations Millennium Development Objectives, but also to guarantee that all children under the age of five are well nourished by that date in our countries.”
Also attending the event were the Minister of health of Chile, María Soledad Barría; the Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Development of Peru, Virginia Borra; and Peruvian Minister of Health, Carlos Vallejos. Doctor Borra affirmed that the government is working to attend this population with a cross-sectorial and comprehensive approach in fighting chronic malnutrition. “We are in a region where malnutrition is a scourge, and one of every four children suffers chronic malnutrition whose results will affect them for life. We must begin to work with pregnant mothers and teach them to use all the tools possible so that they will know how to care for their children from gestation onward.”
The Lima Act states that the figures on national chronic malnutrition have remained unaltered during the past decade, and have even increased in seven of the country’s poorest departments. In the face of this reality, the government, through the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development and in coordination with the Ministries of Health and Education, asked the PAHO/WHO, WFP and UNICEF to form an Inter-agency Support Programme for the National Programme to Fight Chronic Child Malnutrition. The accord, signed in the Government Palace, is a response by the three agencies to this request, and a commitment to optimize their technical and financial resources in support of the Peruvian government.
About UNICEF For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.