Humanitarian Bulletin Latin America and Caribbean Volume 17 | January – April 2014

HIGHLIGHTS

 Disasters in the first quarter (Jan-April) affected 1.9 million people.

 OCHA allocated $3.2 million in CERF funds to assist people affected by floods in Bolivia.

 No respite from coffee rust is expected until 2016. The rust, seasonal drought and current food shortage are exacerbating the risk of food insecurity.

 Seismic activity has increased in the region. Nicaragua and Chile were affected by earthquakes with magnitudes above 6 degrees on the Richter scale.

 Regional consultations have begun for the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. They are being coordinated under the Mechanisms for International Humanitarian Assistance process.

Food insecurity and floods affect almost 2 million people

In the first four months of this year, 34 disasters affected 1,894,496 people. Four countries in Central America are at risk of food insecurity, exacerbated by coffee rust. Rains caused floods and landslides in nine countries. Bolivia, which has been suffering from severe drought since 2013, was affected by seasonal rains that began in November 2013 and intensified in early 2014, affecting more than 315,000 people.

In early 2014, assessments and technical reports on the humanitarian impact of coffee rust were released. The number of people affected by food insecurity exceeds the number of people affected by floods, although emergencies for heavy rains represent 67 per cent of disasters for this quarter.

A report from the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters indicates that 315 disasters were recorded in 2013 worldwide, 64 of which occurred in the Americas. Mexico is the only country in the region in the top 10 for economic losses, with about $5.7 billion in losses from cold weather, hurricanes and a cholera outbreak. Globally, 95.4 million people were affected by disasters in 2013, of whom 3.6 million (3.8 per cent) were in Latin America and the Caribbean.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.