OUR WORK IN THE US-MEXICO BORDER
South North Nexus undertook a reconnaissance trip to the Texas-Mexico border to better understand the current dynamics at the border with special attention to young migrant children and pregnant women, their nutritional and health situation, services provided and protection concerns.
The main objective for the needs assessment was to develop a better understanding of:
- Food insecurity and malnutrition and if there are urgent and unattended problems;
- The gaps in food access and diversity (both quantity and quality) from a family and provider perspective;
- Children’s stress because of the journey, what they experienced at home and the uncertainty of living in a shelter;
- Actions that could increase nutritional stability for migrants living in shelters near the border; and
- Local organizations and potential partners who can support concrete and sustainable actions to address nutrition and stress related priorities as identified through the participants in the needs assessment; and
- Women’s needs, promoting equity and their human rights.
SNN decided to conduct a needs assessment with special attention to:
• Food Security and nutrition measurements of children under the age of 5.
• Stress assessment with children aged 5-15 as well as with their parents.
• Site assessment.
• Discussions with potential partners.
What can we do?
- Help meet basic standards for shelter conditions, following the UN Sphere Standards.
- Advocate for migrants’ rights and bring attention to migration system issues.
- Working with local and other experts develop a family stress reduction program.
- Include information dissemination on issues of relevance to families in shelters.
- Develop a model for establishing shelter gardens in areas with limited space and water that can provide nutritious food, a health and concrete activity for families to work on together building a sense of community
- Work with local groups and authorities to develop and support capacity strengthening in order to effectively implement the above actions.