REGIONAL: FOOD INSECURITY
14M EXTREMELY FOOD-INSECURE PEOPLE PROJECTED ACROSS 13 COUNTRIES IN THE REGION
The World Food Programme (WFP) is forecasting that the number of extremely food-insecure people in 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean may rise to around 14 million people amid the ongoing global food security crisis currently exacerbated by inflation linked to the conflict in Ukraine. WFP indicates this number is currently at 9.7 million people, up from 8.3 million people in late 2021, noting that this trend is a potential reversion to the high levels seen at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when 17.2 million people were severely food-insecure. WFP cites current fuel and energy prices as concerns for those least able to feed themselves, saying that the cost of moving a ton of food in the region has grown seven times as expensive in the last two years. WFP further warns that deteriorating conditions are prompting large-scale population movements beyond traditional flows from Northern Central America, with people on the move across the entire region exposing themselves to serious protection risks. Of the 69 economies currently experiencing food, energy and financial shocks, 19 are in Latin America and the Caribbean, which indicates that governments already struggling to sustain social safety nets during the COVID-19 pandemic are facing added strain in maintaining support to vulnerable populations.
PANAMA: MIGRANTS & REFUGEES
5K CHILDREN WHO HAVE CROSSED INTO PANAMA THROUGH DARIEN GAP IN 2022
According to UNICEF, the number of children crossing into Panama via the Darien Gap on the eastern border with Colombia has reached 5,000 so far in 2022, double the number during the same reporting period in 2021. There are nearly 170 children at migrant reception centres that are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families. There are also several children lacking identity documents or birth registries, creating a risk of statelessness. More than 32,000 migrants have crossed into Darien in the first five months of 2022 compared to 16,000 from January to May 2021. UNICEF notes that many temporary facilities are becoming overcrowded and are unable to meet water and basic service needs, leading to heightened health risks. UNICEF estimates that 3.5 million children will be affected by migration flows in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022, a record number that is 47 per cent greater than in 2021.
CENTRAL AMERICA: SEASONAL RAINS
668K PEOPLE AFFECTED BY SEASONAL RAINS IN GUATEMALA
Heavy rainfall in recent days, related to a nearby low-pressure system and tropical depression Celia in the Pacific, has affected more than 28,000 people across Guatemala, bringing the number of people affected during the rainy season up to more than 668,200 as of 19 June 2022. This represents a 97 per cent increase in the number of people affected compared to 2021 rainy season totals reported on 17 June 2021, indicating that the current season is affecting nearly twice as many people so far in 2022. The effects of the activity over the Pacific have also affected El Salvador, where authorities report at least 8 deaths amid several overflowing rivers. Humanitarian teams in both countries continue monitoring developments.
11% INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES IN THE AMERICAS
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) indicates that COVID-19 cases in the Americas (including the United States and Canada) have risen for eight consecutive weeks after the region reported more than 1.2 million new cases in the past week, 11 per cent more than the previous week. Cases rose by 71 per cent in Mexico, while South America reports a 20 per cent increase in cases. The Caribbean reports 3.7 per cent more new cases. Central America’s 32 per cent decrease in cases and 36 per cent decrease in deaths make it the only sub-region to report a declining trend during the week. While 16 countries and territories have reached 70 per cent of their eligible populations with COVID-19 vaccines, with Bermuda, Colombia and El Salvador close behind at 65 per cent, at least 11 others have yet to reach 40 per cent coverage.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.