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Central America and Caribbean Food Security Outlook Update, January 2016

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The number of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the region will increase in the coming months

Key Messages

  • The ongoing El Niño caused one of the worst droughts in recent decades in Central America and Haiti during the primary 2015 agricultural seasons (Central America: May – August; Haiti: April – July), leading to extensive losses in production of staples for many small-scale producers across the region.

  • In Haiti, severe dryness associated with El Niño has led to crop losses that could exceed 50 percent of an average year. An early exhaustion of household stocks, low labor income-earning opportunities, and high prices for locally produced staples are leading to very high food assistance needs. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely in parts of the Plateau Central and Nippes, Sud-Est, Sud, Grand’Anse, Ouest, Nord-Ouest, and Nord-Est Departments.

  • In Central America, the 2015 drought, which followed successive years of poor rainfall in some areas, has left many poor households reliant on limited labor opportunities to fulfill food needs, particularly in Dry Corridor areas. Furthermore, although aggregate coffee production in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua continues to recover from the impact of the coffee rust outbreak since 2012, El Salvador remains heavily affected, as do many small and medium-scale producers throughout the region. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are ongoing for the most affected households, with the greatest number of these in Guatemala. The number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to increase until the beginning of the Primera harvests in August 2016, particularly in southern Honduras, eastern El Salvador, and northwestern Nicaragua.