Drought affects food security in Central America

The second drought in 2018 has affected countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Losses of crops of corn and beans affect the food reserves for more than 2 million people. This problem generates concern in the United Nations who hope that policies of resistance to climate change will be worked on in these countries.

By José Díaz

Servindi, 24 August, 2018.- In recent months, several countries in Central America have been facing a hard situation due to the second drought they suffer so far in 2018. Especially Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are the countries that face this problem and that run the risk of not being guaranteed their food security for the next months.

This situation has generated concern in the United Nations for Food and Agriculture (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP). These organisms have expressed their concern because during the months of June and July the rains have been considerably lower than the average, which has affected the growing cycles in the region.

"Just when rural communities were recovering from the 2014 drought and the El Niño phenomenon of 2015, the strongest recorded in recent history, a new drought hits the most vulnerable people again", said Miguel Barreto, WFP director for America and the Caribbean.

Now the farmers of these Central American countries have suffered total or partial losses of their crops. The main consequence of this situation is that more than 2 million people have no guaranteed food supply for the coming months. Corn and beans, staple foods for diet in Central America, have been the most affected types of crops.

Latent danger

What is most worrying to the WFP and FAO is that if the El Niño Phenomenon that has been predicted by the end of 2018 is realized, the impact can be worse. If the natural phenomenon affects the Central American temperature again, this could end up disappearing the second cycle of crops that usually takes place during November.

Miguel Barreto has emphasized the need to strengthen the resilience of the agricultural sector in the face of climate change. This work should be developed especially in the Central American countries where food security would be at risk from any modification.

"With the support of the international community, we have worked together with the governments and rural communities of the Dry Corridor to reinforce their resilience to extreme climatic variations, but we need to redouble our efforts and reach more rural communities", the WFP official acknowledged.

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