Guatemala: WFP Situation Report No. 9

from World Food Programme
Published on 05 Dec 2008
Event: Floods in 5 Provinces

1) Situation update:

The situation of families affected by tropical depression 16 is getting more difficult. Recent evaluations by UN show that small farmers not only lost their crops but their backyard horticulture, fruit trees and animals too. Also their water wells were contaminated and they suffered damages to their houses. Agricultural lands have to be rehabilitated, water systems were destroyed and many small roads and bridges need to be repaired. Food assistance is needed for subsistence and will be necessary for rehabilitation purposes.

The Ministry of Agriculture in its final report of damages caused by tropical depression 16, informed that losses of maize in Izabal, Petén, Alta Verapaz and Quiché reached 702,491 quintales (31,864.78 mt = 2.5 % of national production). According o the same report losses of black beans in the four departments were 22,876 quintales (1,037 mt = 0.6 % of national production) and losses of rice were 20,672 quintales (937 mt = 3.7 % of national production).

The same report determines that the total economic loss, in agriculture only, represents Q.128,899,749.00 equivalent to US$ 16,871,694.90 (Q.7.64 x US$ 1.00). Populations continue to ask for help in food, seeds, and fertilizers, as well as help to diversify agriculture and veterinarian first aid kits.

MFEWS in its bulletin dated November 26, reports that if food assistance initiatives and agricultural rehabilitation is implemented, 73,000 persons (only in the department of Petén) could be on risk of food security at least until February.

WFP is securing subsistence of affected families and preparing an EFSA to determine food security conditions and a possible longer-phase intervention.

INSIVUMEH informs that a mass of cold and dry wind continues to affect the country and predicts that low temperatures will be down to -2.0=B0 to 0.0=B0C in the high lands and between 9=B0 and 11=B0 in Guatemala City, affecting families living in shelters, especially children and old people, with acute respiratory infections.

2) Brief description of on-going emergencies:

The WFP monitor deployed in Petén will have to open offices in the central area of the region in order to attend distributions to affected populations. A radio communications base will be habilitated and office equipment will be transported. CONRED offered office space for the WFP Monitor in Petén.

Due to the closing of the fiscal year many government offices will be closed by the end of the year and food distribution has to be secured at least until January 15. WFP is taking all measures to provide food distribution for affected population on time.

3) Response/actions implemented by WFP and its counterparts:

WFP received an Immediate Response Advance (IRA) of US$ 500,000 that was employed to buy 760 mt of maize.

WFP received from Central Emergency Response Funds (CERF) a total of US$ 603,383.00 that was employed to buy 510 mt of maize, 51 mt of pulbea (black beans), 128 mt of CSB, and 25 mt of oil.

The Government of Guatemala and WFP have agreed on areas of intervention in this emergency: the municipalities in the departments of Petén, Alta Verapaz and Quiché, with more affected families are being covered by WFP. The other departments will be covered by MAGA, SESAN and FONAPAZ.

The last distribution of food made by WFP took place in the municipalities of Sayaxché, Popt=FAn, San Luis, La Libertad (all in Petén) and Cobán in Alta Verapaz. Since the beginning of Tropical Depression 16, WFP has distributed 634.58 mt of food to a total of 34,843 affected people.

Prepared by: Manuel Pinelo Sisniega

WFP Country Office telephones + (502) 2333-5928 / 2333-6206 / 2367-1045

WFP Emergency Officer + (502) 4141-1018

Situation room extensions 2170 / 2172 and 2138

Situation room electronic mail

WFP CO address in Guatemala City Edifício Edyma, 4o. nivel, 13 calle 8-44 zona 10