The Republic of Guatemala: Hurricanes Eta and Iota – Urgent call for assistance


Urgent call for assistance to assist 110 000 people

FAO requires USD 4 million

period December 2020– November 2021


Central America has been severely affected by a record-breaking hurricane season, with Category 4 Hurricane Eta raging through the region at 225 km/h from during the beginning of November, followed by Category 5 Hurricane Iota about two weeks later. The flash rains, strong winds, floods and storm surges triggered by the Hurricanes have affected a total of about 5 million people across Central America and Mexico, which are already hard hit by years of erratic weather patterns and more recently by the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, resulting in potentially significant catastrophic impacts.

So far, about 24 percent of people affected are located in Guatemala, with 1.2 million people in the North and North-East regions who are facing displacement, and loss of life, homes, assets and livelihoods, which is impacting agribusiness, forestry, livestock and crop (beans, coffee, fruits, maize and vegetables) production, and artisanal fishing. The Hurricanes have hit at the start of the new planting season and if rains continue, bean and maize crops are likely to suffer irreparable damages, especially in eastern Guatemala, causing significant harvest losses. The livestock sector has also been affected, with the loss of animals and about 4 432 families affected in Alta Verapaz and Quiche.

Situation analysis

1.2 million people affected in the North and North-East regions

119 913 ha of cultivated land (bean and maize) damaged

126 812 animals (birds, cattle, fish, swine and small ruminants) lost

11 departments at risk of landslides and floods due to the rise of 14 rivers following Hurricane Iota