In Haiti, the August earthquake and tropical depression Grace led to a significant increase in food assistance needs in South, Nippes, Grand'Anse, and South-East. Many households have been displaced and have lost productive livelihood assets, face reduced incomes and high prices, and are expected to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. However, humanitarian assistance in some areas of South, Grand'Anse, and Nippes is allowing poor households to meet their food needs, therefore they are likely to experience Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes through October.
In addition, below average and irregular rains since July, have negatively impacted the summer agricultural season and delayed the start of the autumn season. North-West, North-East, Haut Plateau, Haut Artibonite, and West are likely to have below average fall harvests and poor households in these regions are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as a result. Lastly, significant gang and criminal activity has been disrupting Port-au-Prince since July, forcing households to adopt crisis coping strategies and resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes around the capital.
In Central America, poor households in the Honduran and Guatemalan Dry Corridor, areas affected by Eta and Iota, and the coffee-producing areas of central and eastern Honduras will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through January 2022, due to reduced labor demand and some below-average maize and bean production among smallholder farmers. Nicaragua, El Salvador, and most urban and rural areas in Guatemala are expected to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes beginning in October as the arrival of primera harvests and increasing cash crop labor demand reduce households’ food insecurity.
In rural areas of Central America, peak demand for manual labor (October – February) is expected to increase income for households, thereby improving food access for households reliant on market purchase and improving food security outcomes. This year, labor demand is expected to be higher than 2020 given the reductions in COVID-19 restrictions. However, areas impacted by Eta and Iota in Honduras will face below average labor demand for coffee and sugar cane harvests.
Markets continue to operate normally and remain well supplied across the region. Prices of red beans and white maize are expected to follow their seasonal decline as the primera harvest is increasingly available on markets. Prices of red beans have remained stable across the region. However, white maize prices increased on average except for Guatemala where seasonal declines were observed. Increased consumer demand, and higher fuel and transportation costs, as well as the decrease in the delivery of food assistance in El Salvador and Honduras and trader speculation in Nicaragua will likely keep prices above their five-year averages.