El Salvador + 2 more

El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua: Remote Monitoring Update, April 2021 - Rising food assistance needs will likely peak prior to the start of the primera harvest in late August

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KEY MESSAGES

• Food access among poor urban and rural households is likely to worsen until the start of the primera harvest in late August, driving an increase in food assistance needs.
Below-normal household income from various livelihood sources, coupled with rising staple food prices (particularly for beans), is suppressing purchasing power.

• Primera crop production is expected to be average on the national level across the region, based on a forecast of above-average rainfall in April and May, government seed distributions, and production capacity of medium and large farms. Among smallholder farmers, however, high fertilizer prices and localized poor soil conditions will most likely lead to below-average harvests on the household level. Still, the availability of several months of food stocks will end the lean season by September.

• Economic recovery is anticipated to be uneven and gradual through September. A slow vaccination rollout and few to no COVID-19 movement restrictions are expected to continue hindering economic activity, especially in urban areas.

• Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist through September in hurricane-affected areas of northern and southern Honduras and northwestern Nicaragua, the Dry Corridor, and parts of the coffee-producing livelihood zone in western El Salvador. However, a slight decline in the food-insecure population is anticipated by late August/September, attributed to the availability of the harvest and related seasonal decline in prices. In the rest of the region, most rural and urban areas are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) with some households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).