In 2008, Los Quenuales and Perubar, our zinc mine and logistics unit in Peru, began an initiative to improve the nutrition of local children and pregnant mothers. The Los Quenuales programme finished in 2012, having benefited over 800 children. It targeted mothers-to-be and children up to 3 years old, from the rural communities near our operations.

The Perubar programme is still running; it targets mothers-to-be and children from infancy to 5, from urban settlements near our logistics unit, giving them nutritional supplements. The aim is to reduce malnutrition in the local area.

We started with a baseline study of the nutritional status of the region’s children and pregnant mothers at that time. This has allowed us to measure the success of these interventions. The intervention methodology, which involved community leaders, included providing households with improved stoves and better sanitary and health conditions, developing healthcare workshops for mothers, and training mothers to wash their hands before food preparation and in cooking with germinated grains.

The programme also trained 12 women from the local community who participated as voluntary nutrition educators/leaders. We tasked these leaders with regular follow ups with each family in the programme, to ensure we were achieving results.

In 2013 the Perubar programme included 539 children with anaemia and 43 mothers-to-be. Upon completing the programme, there was an 87% decrease in anaemia among the children who took part; retarded growth fell by 15%; acute malnutrition was reduced by 12%; and overall malnutrition by 5.2%. It has helped over 3,000 people since 2008.among the children who took part; retarded growth fell by 15%; acute malnutrition was reduced by 12%; and overall malnutrition by 5.2%. It has helped over 3,000 people since 2008.