2017 Guatemala Humanitarian Needs Overview (November 2017)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 30 Nov 2017

SITUATION AND KEY FIGURES

Guatemala is a middle-income country with the largest economy in Central America.

However, it is affected by structural problems of inequality, exclusion and extreme poverty. Indigenous communities, rural populations, women and girls in particular suffer from this vulnerability, which is enhanced by the country's exposure to frequent socio-natural disasters and the impact of non-conventional violence, dened as violence against the general population.
Over the last four years, Guatemala has faced a humanitarian crisis brought on by the country's worst drought in decades.
Chronic malnutrition affects one out of two children under five.
Furthermore, events related to violence, organized crime and consequent displacements are reported daily. Large-scale hydroelectric, extractive and agro-industrial projects deny the most vulnerable populations from their rights and increase the risk of socio-environmental disasters, food insecurity, migration and lack of land-access.

The complexity of threats and vulnerabilities throughout the country requires coordinated response efforts between the Government of Guatemala and the humanitarian actors. For this reason, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, in the framework of the "New Way of Working" and in partnership with the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED), the Secretariat for Food and Nutritional Security (SESAN) and other humanitarian actors in the country, took into account both vulnerable populations and people in need in this analysis. This approach will allow humanitarian and development organizations to work together to create short and long term strategies to meet humanitarian needs.

Thiis analysis of needs is the result of the Guatemala humanitarian community’s assessment of situations requiring immediate response and measures that will help to advance issues of human rights and to mitigating the underlying causes, with the aim of ending repetitive cycles and improving the lives of vulnerable populations.

In their analysis, the HCT concluded that there are four main vulnerable groups:

i) subsistence farmers (especially corn and bean), small-scale coffee producers and labourers

ii) children suffering from chronic malnutrition

iii) migrants

iv) people affected by non-conventional violence

Many of the factors that increase the vulnerability and reduce resilience of these groups overlap. While the structural causes of the country's main problems afect the entire population, the impacts of these effects are differentiated between indigenous and non-indigenous populations, women, persons with disabilities, boys or girls, elderly persons and urban and rural areas.

For each vulnerable group, the HCT undertook a comprehensive analysis that included a review of existing secondary information such as studies from governmental and university institutions, research from specialized agencies, on-site work by NGOs, and Index Risk Management indicators (InFoRM). This review re-adjusted the prioritization process to meet the critical needs of the vulnerable population in Guatemala, highlighting urgent critical needs (lifesaving) and people who have problems meeting their basic needs: subsistence farmers (maize and bean), small coffee producers, seasonal farm labourers, migrants and displaced people, chronically malnourished children. Among the basic needs identied 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. the lack of these factors undermines the human rights of the population.

To determine the number of people with short-term, critical needs, several assessments and extrapolations of ocial data was required. Most of the ocial data was last updated in 2014.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.