Central America and Caribbean: Key Message Update, March 2019
Households are recurring to coping strategies due to stock depletion
In Central America, weather conditions generated by the presence of weak El Niño could cause irregularities during the first rainy season with temperatures above average negatively impacting the development of Apante and Primera crops. In Haiti, rainfall during January and February favored agricultural activities in the Great South and in the humid mountains in the West and Southeast.
Maize and bean market supplies are near average in Central America supported by Postrera harvest, stocks, and imports. Maize prices are increasing seasonally and remain above the 5-year average, while bean prices are below average. In Haiti, markets are well supplied while food prices are significantly above average. The Haitian gourde has been depreciating against the USD for several months, however, very recent observations could indicate stabilization.
The season of high labor demand (October-March) in Central America temporary improved access to food. Poor households’ income relies on labor for production of tropical fruit, sugarcane, shrimp and mainly coffee harvest depending on the location. The low international coffee prices have deteriorated the situation of small-scale producers as well as casual workers.
The poorest households of subsistence farming in the Dry Corridor of Central America and certain areas in Haiti who suffered crop losses are relying on the market earlier than usual and are engaging in Crisis coping strategies. They will be facing Crisis (IPC, Phase 3) Food Security outcomes, particularly in Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras. The rest of the region will be in Stressed or Minimal (IPC, Phase 1 and 2) Food Insecurity.