Around 3.5 million people in Guatemala are classified in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 or 4) during the seasonal hunger period of May to August 2021 and require urgent action. Analysts project this figure to decrease to 2.5 million during the period of lowest acute food insecurity between September 2021 and January 2022.
Through August 2021, 16 departments are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3): Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, San Marcos,
Santa Rosa, Sololá, Suchitepéquez, Totonicapán and Zacapa. From September 2021 to January 2022, five departments are projected to remain in Crisis (Phase 3): Alta Verapaz, Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, Quiché and Totonicapán; and 11 are projected to improve to a situation of Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2).
The most vulnerable population are subsistence farming households with income losses due to damage caused by storms ETA and IOTA during November 2020, small informal traders, and agricultural day labourers affected by the constraints resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These households are forced to use Crisis and Emergency coping strategies to bridge their food gaps, such as selling assets and using their savings. In departments classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), there is depletion of food stocks, difficulties in accessing markets mainly due to low purchasing power, and at least one in five households using Crisis coping strategies to feed themselves regularly.