Central America and Caribbean: Key Message Update, October 2019

Report
from Famine Early Warning System Network
Published on 14 Oct 2019 View Original

Primera losses and political tension have deteriorated food security in the region

Key Messages

Some vulnerable households in Central America and Haiti will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity, due to the deterioration of their livelihoods that will limit access to basic non-food needs. Meanwhile, the poorest households in communities affected by lack of production and elevated food prices who are engaging in negative coping strategies will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly in Haiti and the Dry Corridor of Guatemala.

Irregular rainfall and above-average temperatures during July-August affected the Primera harvest for subsistence farmers in the Dry Corridor of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In Honduras and Nicaragua, surplus areas were affected as well. The Postrera sowing has started but could be affected by irregular rainfall during September. In Haiti, above-average precipitation in July-August helped maintain soil moisture, favoring the Summer cropping season.

In Central America and Haiti, maize and bean market supply have remained sufficient thanks to harvests and imports. Maize prices have remained above average and bean prices below average in August. In Haiti, supply of local staples was limited due to below-average Printemps harvests. Prices of local and imported staple foods have maintained above-average levels.

In Central America, the period of high demand for labor begins between October and November, with coffee and sugarcane sector as the main activities, allowing the poorest households to obtain income to access food. Given the increased prices and market dependence, this income will not be sufficient and they will therefore resort to coping strategies such as money or grain borrowing and migration to urban areas.

In Haiti, a combination of weak government initiative and fuel shortages is likely to maintain socio-economic tensions that will negatively affect markets and economic activities, therefore the food security of the poorest.