FEWS Guatemala Food Security Situation, Oct 2008 - Hunger season draws to a close

Situation Report
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- The primera harvest season has ended throughout the country, except in the highland region, where harvests are expected to begin in November. This will improve food availability for households with access to land.

- The postrera sowing has begun, and a good harvest is expected, which will enable households who lost their crops due to the excess rainfall or whose production was reduced due to lack of fertilization to refill their food reserves.

- Coffee and cardamom cutting activities initiate the season of high demand for unskilled labor, which will provide income for approximately 700,000 people.

- Basic food basket and consumer index prices showed a negative deviation for the first time this year. Even though prices are still high, the sustained reduction could improve food access for the population, especially for landless households who rely on the market for their food needs.

- Approximately 1 million people are currently highly food insecure, concentrated in the western and some eastern municipalities of the country. The majority of this food insecurity is chronic and due to structural factors. No integrated interventions are ongoing to address this situation. Conditions are expected to improve in the months ahead, if harvests are at the expected levels.