Nearly 3M People in Central America Rely on Food Aid to Survive
Posted by feww on May 29, 2016
2.8 Million people Need Food Aid in Drought-Hit Central America: UN
At least 2.8 million people in three Central American countries—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—need food aid after two consecutive years of severe drought decimated crops and exacerbated hunger among the poor, said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“People are and have been selling their assets to survive, selling land and seeds, reducing the number of meals a day and reducing their amount of protein intake,” said a disaster response coordinator for Central America at the U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA).
“Right now the situation is very serious, and it’s fragile.”
Losses as of September 2015 (FAO)
At an estimated 3 million tonnes across the subregion, this year’s maize harvest is expected to be far below average and some 8 percent below last year’s already compromised harvest.
Production declines are expected to be particularly sharp in El Salvador and Honduras, which both saw 60 percent of their maize crops destroyed by the irregular rainfall earlier this year. In El Salvador alone, losses are estimated at $28 million in seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and land preparation. Honduras additionally saw 80 percent of its beans perish.
In Guatemala’s most affected areas, some 80 percent of crops are estimated to have been lost, including 55,000 tonnes of maize and 11,500 tonnes of beans, affecting over 150,000 families.