Central America/ Haiti Regional Report - January 2012

Early start to the lean season expected in localized areas of Central America;
Food security mostly stable in Haiti following harvests

Key messages

  • Postrera production of maize and beans at national levels was normal throughout the region, and will improve food availability through February. However, damages from Tropical Depression 12-E in October 2011 caused localized crop deficits, mostly for subsistence crops in the western Highlands of Guatemala, and postrera crops in southern and southwestern Honduras, the eastern, western, and Pacific Coast areas of El Salvador, and Nicaragua’s dry corridor.

  • Household food security in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua is expected to be mostly at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels at least during the Outlook period (through March 2012). However, household food stocks are expected to be depleted early in areas affected by the crop damages, leading to an early start to the lean season by one or two months in approximately February/March. Food security in these areas will likely deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels.

  • The La Niña phenomenon is likely to continue until spring 2012, which has the potential to cause irregular rains at the beginning of the primera season, which could affect crop development. Decreased primera production would particularly impact those who suffered damages from the tropical depression and whose food stocks are already compromised.

  • In Haiti, food security will mostly remain stable through the Outlook period, sustained by harvests in the main productive areas and agricultural labor opportunities for the sorghum and bean harvests and the spring agricultural campaign. Although many regions will not experience acute food insecurity, localized areas in the south department, Northwest peninsula, Central Plateau, and northeast will face Stressed levels of food insecurity due to poor production. Some households in the southeast may face Crisis levels of food insecurity due to the impacts of very poor rainfall.