Key Message Update

High food prices at the start of the lean season signal atypically low food access

March 2021

March - May 2021

June - September 2021

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • As the lean season starts in Guatemala, the supply of maize and black bean is expected to remain stable, due to adequate supply from national grain stocks, the last fresh harvests from the North, and formal and informal imports from Mexico. Despite normal supply, staple food prices are likely to remain roughly 10-20 percent above average due to increased fuel and transportation costs and the increased cost of international yellow maize, which may trigger higher demand for locally produced grains.

  • As a result of high staple food prices and below-average income, poor households are facing lower-than-normal food access at the start of the 2021 lean season. While formal and informal activities slowly recover in urban areas, driving improvements in food security among the urban poor, poor households in rural areas are experiencing an earlier than usual start of the lean season. Access to income-generating activities will remain low for rural populations, due to both seasonality and lower economic opportunities as a result of the pandemic and the hurricanes. Food access will remain lower than normal through August.

  • The sowing of basic grains has started in the western highlands, while land preparation for the Primera season is underway in the rest of the country. Based on the level of ongoing activities and the forecast of average April to June first season rainfall, proper establishment and development of crops is expected. The Ministry of Agriculture issued alerts for the a locust infestation in the north of the country, which currently does not represent a threat to national production, and the ashes from the Pacaya Volcano that have caused localized crop damages.

  • Through the peak of the lean season in August, many poor households in urban and rural areas are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to past shocks that reduced their income, and they will continue to use their savings and depend on loans to cover their food needs. Of highest concern are poor households in the Dry Corridor and in the areas affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota: due to their significant income losses, depletion of savings, and high food costs, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely among these populations.¬† Although some food assistance deliveries are likely between April and June, food assistance needs exist currently and are likely to remain higher than programmed assistance during the lean season.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics