San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Guatemala launches health and education aid program

GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina inaugurated on Monday a financial assistance program titled “Mi Bono Seguro” (My Secure Bond) that will pay 757,000 families living in poverty a one-time payment of $40 to “reduce poverty” and provide access to health care, officials said.

The payment of Q300 ($40) must be used for health care services or education, and to receive it, parents must bring children under 6 to health centers for checkups and vaccines.

“We are taking the steps to accomplish what we offered in the campaign, when we said that social programs would continue, but be transparent,” Pérez Molina said.

Official figures indicate that 43 percent of Guatemala’s 14 million people live in poverty, and according to the U.N., one in two Guatemalan children under 5 suffer from malnutrition.

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