Analysing Success in the Fight against Malnutrition in Peru


This paper documents and systematises Peru’s success in tackling chronic malnutrition. It argues that success is not explained by the presence of favourable socioeconomic changes occurring in Peru but partly due to adequate government interventions. For the past five years, Peru has been one of South America's fastest-growing economies, with average growth rates nearing 7% GDP, despite the global economic slowdown. This growth was partly fuelled by dramatic increases in the price of minerals, Peru’s main export, since 2004 (The Economist 2008). Yet, the paper shows that reductions in malnutrition rates are only associated with poverty, but are not significantly associated with improved economic growth rates, greater fiscal transfers, mineral rents, urbanisation, or increased access to basic services. In the absence of “income” based explanations, the paper develops a political economy explanation of success that focuses on Government efforts to create national coordination structures across government ministries, target public spending to promote improved nutrition and align poverty reduction initiatives with the National Strategy CRECER.


Acosta, A.M. Analysing Success in the Fight against Malnutrition in Peru. Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton, UK (2011) 50 pp. [IDS Working Paper No. 367]

Published 1 January 2011