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South -South Learning and Exchange Event

Protecting and Promoting the Nutrition of Mothers and Children. A Toolkit for Stable, Crisis, and Emergeny Situations


South-South Learning and Exchange Event Information

Final Report of the South-South Learning and Exchange Event

Recurrent shocks can contribute to malnutrition

In recent years, the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has been hit recurrently by a range of crises, including social and economic upheavals, periods of major food-price volatility, and devastating natural disasters. A plethora of evidence demonstrates that crises and emergencies take a toll on the nutritional status of the most vulnerable, especially mothers and children. However, scant information is available on how-to respond to their nutritional needs in unstable times. As a result, their needs are habitually overlooked.


Are countries putting their money where their mouth is?

It follows that policy makers need to know what actions they should take to promote and protect the nutrition of the population in crises and emergencies. It is in the context that the World Bank has conducted a study in 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to assess their readiness and improve their response to protect the nutritional status of the poorest and most vulnerable in times of crisis and emergencies. The countries that participated in the study are Bolivia, Dominica, Colombia, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent.


Protecting and Promoting the Nutrition of Mothers and Children in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Crisis and Program Managers

The study lead to the production of the document Protecting and Promoting the Nutrition of Mothers and Children in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Crisis Managers. The aim of this toolkit is to offer clear, straightforward guidance to policy makers that will enable them to safeguard the nutritional status of mothers and children during crises and in emergencies. More specifically, its intent is to assist countries in ensuring that the policies and programs they set forth are cost effective and provide the best long-lasting return on their investments, by mainstreaming priority nutrition interventions into crisis- and emergency-response efforts.

The toolkit can easily be used by program managers, crisis- management professionals as well as nutrition and health specialists. It includes the following information:

  1. An overview of the issues related to nutrition in times of crisis;
  2. Policy guidance on key nutrition interventions as well as related cross-cutting approaches;
  3. Results of a benchmarking exercise conducted with 12 countries in the region comparing existing country policies and practices to the respective priority nutrition interventions and cross-cutting approaches presented in the policy guidance;
  4. Case studies showcasing how countries have successfully implemented the suggested interventions.

Several countries have expressed their interest in gaining more knowledge and skills in the area of nutrition in crisis. As a response to this demand, the World Bank is organizing a South-South Learning and Exchange Event where high level policy makers and experts from the region will be able to share experience, network and build consensus on successful approaches to protecting mothers and young children from shocks.

The event will take place on December 6-7, 2012 at the in Panama at the Intercontinental Hotel Playa Bonita.

Objectives of the event

  1. Build the capacity of high-level policy-makers in the region to implement the guidelines and recommendations of the Toolkit. This will be achieved through a mix of Plenary sessions, Country Case Studies, Interactive round-table and Hands-on learning sessions.
  2. Encourage cross-sectoral knowledge exchange and best practice sharing.
Participants to the event
  • High-level Government policy makers who are involved in crisis response of the 12 countries included in the study
  • Development partners and experts from regional and country levels such as The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNICEF, World Food Program (WFP), Inter American Development Bank (IDB), INCAP, and the World Bank.

To participate and register to the event

Invitations will be sent to participating countries and partners. If you would like to participate, please contact Ms. Evelyn Rodriguez at email:

Funding support

All the activities are funded by the Rapid Social Response Trust Fund and the World Bank, Health Nutrition and Population from the Latin America and the Caribbean Region.

To participate virtually

Listen to the presentations virtually by joing us through:

Nutrition LAC


Fact Sheet: Achieving MDG for Nutrition in LAC

English / French / Spanish

SVProfileEl Salvador








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Useful links


Raising Food Prices: time to put your money where your mouth is?
Also available in: Portuguese / Español

Haiti: Saving Lives of mothers and children with better healthcare

Haiti: Sowing the seeds for better nutrition

Honduras: Are high food prices fueling child malnutrition?

World Bank Corporate Nutrition

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