Central America and Caribbean: Key Message Update, August 2019
Prices of basic grains remain above average, restricting food access for the poorest households
The Central American Climate Outlook Forum forecasted below average cumulated precipitations for the August – October period, particularly in localized areas of Honduras and Nicaragua. In the southeastern region of Honduras, Central and Northern Nicaragua and the Dry Corridor in Guatemala, Primera crops have been affected due to irregular rainfall. In Haiti, below average precipitations have impacted Spring crops while Summer harvest remains uncertain.
Prices of basic grains in Guatemala are showing a seasonal increase but remain stable compared to previous month in the rest of Central America, however above average for maize, due to commercial speculation. In Haiti, despite a seasonal decline, prices of maize, beans and imported rice remain above last year’s prices and the five-year average.
The sources of income for the poorest households are currently limited to agricultural casual labor, which is affected by drought. Although, regions with access to livestock and fish farming and tropical fruit production will have employment opportunities. In Haiti, activities for the summer campaign have started, with a relative increase in demand for labor.
The households of the poorest farmers who have depleted their stocks due to many consecutive years of crop losses are likely to rely on the market for a longer period than usual and prices above average restrict their food access. They are engaging in crisis strategies, including consuming less nutrition food, reducing frequency and quantity of meals and migrating to unusual areas to find sources of income.
The poor households whose livelihoods are deteriorated and have a limited access to non-basic food needs, will be in Stress (IPC, Phase 2). However, the poorest households, described above, with no stocks after crop losses, who are applying copying strategies as reducing quality and quantity of meals and migrating to obtain their income, will face Crisis (IPC, Phase 3), in areas of Guatemala and Haiti.