In Central America, seasonal trends are exacerbated by above-average prices, limiting access to food during the annual lean season for poorer households in both rural and urban areas. Until the primera harvest starts in August/September, poorer households across much of the region are expected to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. At the same time, poorer households in the Dry Corridor, Eastern Honduras, and areas affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota in Guatemala will be classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3), as they engage in unsustainable coping, such as resorting to loans and credits to purchase food, migrating atypically, borrowing or relying on food support from friends and family, and/or selling their productive assets to cover their food needs.
Throughout the region, inflation continued its upward trend in May. Increases in the Consumer Price Index, particularly in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category are driven by high international prices of fuels and some food products. In April, maize, bean, vegetable oil, and wheat product prices were higher in all reporting countries as compared to April 2021 and to the five-year average, limiting purchasing power.
Primera planting started normally with the beginning of the rainy season. However, a reduction in planted area is likely given significantly above average prices of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs. The forecast of near-average rainfall for most of the region in the following weeks will allow for the normal development of most crops, although above-average rainfall in July could cause some localized losses due to excess humidity.
In Haiti, livelihoods continue to be disrupted, due to high commodity prices and a lack of job opportunities. The security situation is deteriorating further, as gangs increase their control and expand into additional territories in Ouest, Centre, Sud, Nord-Ouest, and Artibonite, negatively affecting economic activities and market supply and reducing physical access to households’ sources of income. Meanwhile, rainfall in March and April has favored the planting and development of spring crops. Poorer households in Haiti are likely to continue adopting unsustainable coping strategies to maintain their food consumption amid very high prices, resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in most areas.