In the latest IPC Acute Food Insecurity analysis, the 17.4 million inhabitants of all 22 departments of Guatemala were analysed.
Between March and May 2022, more than 3.9 million people have experienced high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) and therefore require urgent actions. This figure is expected to increase to 4.6 million people in the period of June to September 2022, during which the lean season falls, and to decrease to 3.2 million people for the period of October 2022 to February 2023, the harvest season.
The population in the worst conditions is made up mainly of small subsistence/subsistence farmers, whose reserves have been depleted and have also seen their ability to invest for the next harvest diminished by the high cost of several inputs and fuel; small informal merchants have had difficulty selling their products due to the increase in fuel prices. This has led to an increase in the prices of food and raw materials and reduced sources of employment, so that many households have been forced to use crisis and emergency coping strategies to solve their food gaps, such as the sale of assets and the use of their savings. According to the Food Security Survey (FSS) of the World Food Program (WFP), 28% of the population reports limited and poor food consumption; likewise, regarding the use of livelihood coping strategies, 19% of households report using stress strategies, 30% crisis strategies and 14% emergency strategies during the current period.
However, due to the crisis generated by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, a sustained increase in the prices of food and fuel as well as some inputs is expected. Therefore, between June and September 2022, households will likely face greater difficulties in terms of food availability and access, and their food insecurity situation could deteriorate during this period. Between October 2022 and February 2023, an increase in employment sources derived from coffee and sugarcane crops is expected; there could be greater marketing opportunities, so the food insecurity situation could improve for a good part of the country’s departments.