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Central America and the Caribbean: Drought - Jul 2018

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Types de catastrophes

In El Salvador, there will be a meeting of the United Nations country team tomorrow [27 July] to develop a plan of action following the declaration by the Government of a red alert emergency due to the severe drought affecting some 77,000 corn farmers. Lack of rain led to losses of over 90,000 metric tons of corn, one of the main staple foods in the country. The eastern part of the country has reported 33 consecutive days without rain and record temperatures reaching 41°C. (UN DPI, 26 Jul 2018)

The Government of Honduras declared State of Emergency in the Dry Corridor from August 15th until December 31st, 2018, to address the lack of water provoking a loss of crops. The drought, triggered by El Niño, affects 145 municipalities from 13 departments. 74 of those municipalities with 65,000 families are suffering a severe drought. The decree was recommended by FAO, WFP and the National Risk Management System (Sinager). (Gov't of Honduras, 15 Aug 2018)

[FAO] and [WFP] today [24 August 2018] expressed concern over the drought that has caused major crop losses in Central America. The agencies also warned that the possible arrival of an El Niño before the end of 2018 could exacerbate the precarious food and nutrition security of vulnerable rural communities. The months of June and July registered lower-than-average rainfall and drier-than-average conditions, which affected the first and principal crop cycle in Central America, known as the “primera”. Total or partial loss of crops means that subsistence farmers and their families will not have enough food to eat or sell in coming months. (FAO/WFP, 24 Aug 2018)

In the Dry Corridor in Central America, during the peak season of casual labor demand, households affected by the extended dry spell will be able to cover the minimal calorie intake requirements and will be classified in Stress (IPC, Phase 2), until at least January 2019. However, certain households may face Crisis (IPC, Phase 3) outcomes without changing the area classification. The number of households in Crisis (IPC, Phase 3) will increase through the lean season. (FEWS NET, 17 Oct 2018)

Maize prices in Central America are showing a seasonal decrease started in September after the Primera harvest and remain slightly above the average, except in Nicaragua where they remain significantly above average due to market disruptions from the ongoing political crisis. Bean prices follow a seasonal trend and remain slightly below average. In Haiti maize and black bean prices show a stable trend while imported rice remains above average. Until January 2019, the dry corridor of Central America and certain areas in Haiti (Nord, Nord-Est and Ouest) that were affected by the rain deficit are classified in Stress (IPC, Phase 2), while the rest of the region faces Minimum (IPC, Phase 1) food insecurity. (FEWS NET, 16 Nov 2018) .

Most households through the region are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes. A limited population in drought affected areas in Haiti, Central American Dry Corridor and areas in Guatemala with limited coffee labor income are seeing their livelihoods disrupted and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The number of households in this situation will increase as the lean season advances. (FEWS NET, 22 Jan 2019)

The poorest households of subsistence farming in the Dry Corridor of Central America and certain areas in Haiti who suffered crop losses are relying on the market earlier than usual and are engaging in Crisis coping strategies. They will be facing Crisis (IPC, Phase 3) Food Security outcomes, particularly in Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras. The rest of the region will be in Stressed or Minimal (IPC, Phase 1 and 2) Food Insecurity. (FEWS NET, 29 Mar 2019)

The Central American Climate Outlook Forum forecasted below average cumulated precipitations for the August – October period, particularly in localized areas of Honduras and Nicaragua. In the southeastern region of Honduras, Central and Northern Nicaragua and the Dry Corridor in Guatemala, Primera crops have been affected due to irregular rainfall. In Haiti, below average precipitations have impacted Spring crops while Summer harvest remains uncertain. (FEWS NET, 29 Aug 2019)