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Latin America & the Caribbean: COVID-19 External and Internal Access Restrictions (As of 25 May 2020)

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Key Figures: Impact of COVID-19 restrictions on vulnerable populations

13.8K CASES OF UNDERNOURISHMENT RECORDED IN GUATEMALA AS OF 11 MAY 2020 (Government of Guatemala)

283% INCREASE IN CASES OF UNDERNOURISHMENT COMPARED TO 11 MAY 2019 (Government of Guatemala)

Overview: Mexico & Central America

In-place restrictions are still impeding humanitarian access. Honduras Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) members report inadequate access to people in need at specialized isolation centres, including returnees and migrants in transit, internally displaced people and asylum seekers. El Salvador HCT members indicate difficulties in reaching rural communities for critical WASH sensitization activities.

While countries continue to deal with the short-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, several long-term concerns are beginning to arise. In Central America, unequal economic recoveries will likely lead to labour migration from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, despite the present short-term reductions in mobility. Should border closures persist, increased migration will carry greater protection risks and potentially lead to increased trafficking, according to a UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report on COVID-19 impact on cross-border trafficking.

Access and mobility restrictions in Guatemala are creating long-term concerns for longstanding food security and nutrition concerns as well. Recent figures indicate that there are 13,843 cases of acute undernutrition through 11 May 2020, nearly triple the amount of cases reported for 11 May 2019.4 The Government is deploying teams to 20 chronically foodinsecure municipalities, as families in these areas are missing routine nutritional check-ups, partly due to mobility restrictions.

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