Guatemala

Roya Response - 31 March 2014

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A coffee rust outbreak in Central America and the Dominican Republic has been threatening the main source of income of hundreds of thousands vulnerable households since late 2012. Coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix) is a fungus that destroys the leaves of coffee plants – lowering yields, diminishing fruit quality and sometimes devastating entire plantations. The fungus, known in Spanish as roya, had widespread regional effects by June 2013. The coffee rust has since affected 55 percent of land cultivated with coffee throughout the region, seriously endangering the livelihoods of the almost two million people who depend on coffee as a primary source of income. In Guatemala, WFP is responding to food insecurity caused by the effects of the coffee rust and compounded by additional aggravating factors such the impact of drought, decreased international coffee prices and the broca.