2017 Guatemala Humanitarian Needs Overview at a Glance (Nov 2017)


Over the last four years, Guatemala has faced a humanitarian crisis brought on by the country's worst drought in decades coupled with structural causes of the country's main problems affect the entire population. Vulnerable groups such as indigenous, women, persons with disabilities, boys or girls, elderly persons and urban and rural areas needs humanitarian assistance. Chronic malnutrition affects one out of two children under five. Addressing chronic malnutrition in children under five is the most urgent humanitarian need. At least 200,000 children are currently suffering from chronic malnutrition and could face irreversible damage to their mental, physical and cognitive development.

1.6 M people are facing urgent unmet critical needs: subsistence farmers, small coffee producers, seasonal farm labourers, migrants and displaced people, chronically malnourished children. Among the basic needs identified are education, health, access to water, food security, access to land, the right to decent housing, indigenous peoples' rights over their territory and natural resources, and local development planning. e lack of these factors under-mines the human rights of the population.

In 2017, some 450,000-people entered Mexico after transiting Guatemala while the number of Guatemalans seeking asylum and refuge in the U. S. and Mexico has increased significantly by 661% between 2012 and 2016. The United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has identified 20,900 people in transit through Guatemala (January to June 2017) Due to this increase in cross border movement, access to safe spaces that provide basic services, legal assistance and access to protection mechanisms for migrants is essential, with particular reference to vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied children and adolescents, stateless people, LGBTI population (Lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex population), survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and people fleeing widespread violence.

Central America and Mexico, face alarming rates of escalating violence caused by organized crime and maras, including assassinations, extortion, disappearances, assaults, rape and child recruitment. The escalation of violence from criminal organizations in the region has exceeded the capacity of governments to respond. Improve services in shelters and refuge centres, strengthen trans-border and multi-organization e orts and provide holistic support to migrants taking into account the different forms of abuse that is committed against women, girls, boys and men.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit