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Central America and Caribbean: Key Message Update - February 2020

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Water deficit in Haiti is expected to affect yields while casual labor demand decreases in Central America

Key Messages

In Haiti, livelihoods remain disrupted due to high food prices, lack of employment opportunities and the remaining effects of the socio-political crisis. Poor households continue to intensify the sale of charcoal and animals, delay the return of children to school, among other strategies, to maintain their basic food consumption. Food insecurity remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stress (IPC Phase 2).

In Haiti, market functioning improved in December after two months of civil unrest. Food prices remain above average while local prices are stable or are declining. The Haitian gourde is showing some stability against the U.S. dollar. Winter crops, including beans, are currently being harvested or about to be harvested. Their yield is expected to be reduced in the Nord and Nord-Est departments because of a water deficit observed since the end of December and in Artibonite due to strong winds.

In Central America, some areas in the Dry Corridor are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity due to losses in last year’s main harvest. However, households improved their income and access to food during the high season for casual labor. An early start of the lean season is expected, due to low stocks at end of high labor season which will lead poor households into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity.

Favorable distribution of rain in December 2019 and rains above average during the beginning of 2020 allowed a good Apante growing season in parts of Honduras and Nicaragua. The weather models indicate a normal start of the first rainy season in 2020. Markets were well supplied with the Postrera harvests and carryover stocks and maize prices have remained above average while bean prices remain below average.