Four in ten children (43.4%) under five are chronically malnourished (as measured by height relative to age), a condition that causes them to drop out of school, lowers their productivity, makes them susceptible to illness and even loss of intellectual quotient, which are irreversible effects that last a lifetime. Chronic malnutrition affects eight in ten (80%) indigenous children.
The global economic crisis and the effects of climate change, particularly drought, are further affecting the economies and livelihood of indigenous families and the poorest, with boys and girls among the most affected.
Nearly three million Guatemalans lack access to safe water and about six million have no access to improved sanitation.
Primary school enrollment has increased substantially in recent years and now reaches 96%. However, staying in school remains a major problem since only four out of ten children who start will finish primary school. Indigenous girls attend school, on average, for only three years.