Honduras + 3 more

Central America and Caribbean Key Message Update, March 2017

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Situation Report
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Forecasts indicate an increased likelihood for below-average rainfall in 2017

Key Messages
- Areas of greatest concern: In the three countries monitored, there are communities whose Primera and Postrera staple crops in 2016 were adversely affected by rainfall deficits and by diseases. The largest population affected by these factors is located in southwestern Honduras (El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Choluteca, Valle, La Paz, and Intibucá). Preliminary reports from monitoring by the government and international partners indicate that there are populations in these areas who are without staple food reserves. The greatest impact on food security is likely among households in communities located in areas that have been affected by low cumulative rainfall and poor distribution during the past four years. It is possible that some of the most affected households will enter Crisis (IPC Phase 3) prior to the Primera harvests in August/September.
- Seasonal forecast: Due to the ongoing warming of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the eastern Pacific Ocean, forecasts for the 2017 rainy season indicate an increased likelihood for below-average rainfall in the Central America region, particularly from the second half of June onward. The below-average rainfall would primarily impact subsistence production areas where annual rainfall totals are typically lower.
- Coffee sector: During the ongoing season (2016/2017), regional coffee production has increased by varying degrees across the region, compared to the 2015/2016 season. The greatest increase in production has been in Honduras, with estimates indicating an increase of 36 percent. In Nicaragua, a 10 percent increase in coffee production is estimated, while in El Salvador, estimates indicate an increase of 4.6 percent.
- Water access: The rainfall deficits of recent years have led to a low recharge rate of water sources, which has led to reduced water table levels and reduced levels in lakes, rivers, streams, and wells. This has made access to water for human consumption and for agricultural production more difficult. This factor is particularly concerning in low-lying regions that typically receive lower annual rainfall.