Key Message Update

Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely persist in several areas of concern through 2021 harvest

July 2021 to January 2022

July - September 2021

October 2021 - January 2022

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 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

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 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.

Key Messages

  • In Central America, the population experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes is expected to reach its annual peak between June and September. Household food and income sources are low during the ongoing lean season, exacerbated by high staple food prices, slow recovery from the impacts of the 2020 hurricanes, and the 2020 economic contraction due to COVID-19. Food prices are expected to trend above the five-year average, driven by consecutive years of regional crop production losses, weather shocks, high fuel prices, and high global maize prices. As a result, household purchasing power is below normal in rural and urban areas, limiting food access.

  • The food insecure population is expected to decline in Central America between October and January due to the near-average primera and postrera harvests, seasonal cash crop labor income, and rising formal and informal employment linked to the economic recovery. However, localized primera crop losses are likely among smallholder farmers that have been worst affected by rainfall deficits in central and eastern Honduras and northwestern Nicaragua and by excess rainfall in the Pacific basin of El Salvador. Further, rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccination progress will likely hinder a full economic recovery. Finally, small-scale coffee producers are still recovering from weather, coffee rust, and pandemic-related shocks. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will most likely persist in parts of northern and southern Honduras; parts of the Dry Corridor, Altiplano, Alta Verapaz, and Izabal in Guatemala; and the western coffee livelihood zone in El Salvador. Although all areas of Nicaragua will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2), Nueva Segovia is still of concern.

  • In Haiti, where the peak of the lean season occurred in May, local and imported staple food prices are above average and typical sources of income are inadequate for households to meet their non-food needs in many areas. Although spring crop production prospects in June are broadly favorable, poor rural households are still recovering from the loss of food and income during past below-average production seasons. Consequently, food security will likely only marginally improve from June to September and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will likely be sustained.

  • Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are also expected in Haiti from October to January. The socio-political and security climate remains unstable. Continued unrest is likely and expected to disrupt trade — affecting market access and food prices — and negatively impact informal income-generating activities for poor urban households. Given Haiti’s dependence on staple food imports, the depreciation of the HTG against the USD continues to drive food prices well above the five-year average. As a result, household purchasing power is significantly constrained. Many poor households will likely adopt stressed and crisis food consumption and livelihoods coping strategies, such as the consumption of early harvests or seeds and the reduction in the quality and/or quantity of meals.

  • While humanitarian food assistance is being provided in parts of Central America, delivery is localized, and available distribution data do not currently suggest the scale of assistance is likely to change food security outcomes in the region.

OUTLOOK BY COUNTRY

Haiti

  • Despite below-average rainfall observed since April, crop development remains normal overall. Near-average spring maize and bean harvests will be observed in July and will help to temporarily improve poor households’ food access in the country, at least between July and September.
  • The prevailing socio-political and security climate remains unstable. It is highly likely that the socio-political turmoil will intensify, with adverse effects on informal activities, market supply, and the incomes of poor and very poor urban households.
  • The gourde/US dollar exchange rate continues to depreciate, amplifying the volatility of households’ purchasing power. The official exchange rate is more than 91 gourdes to 1 US dollar. Imported commodity prices, which are strongly correlated to the informal market exchange rate, will remain significantly higher than the average.
  • In areas that are structurally vulnerable to climate shocks, poor households who have undergone successive shocks resulting in below-average harvests will be forced to adopt crisis strategies (consuming unripe products or seeds, selling wood, reducing quality and/or quantity of meals, and the like) to maintain their current food consumption, and will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

For more information, see the Haiti Food Security Outlook for June 2021 to January 2022.

Guatemala

  • Despite the country’s favorable economic outlook, the slow pace of vaccinations and rise in COVID-19 cases will not facilitate a full economic recovery and, consequently, the recovery of family income lost during the pandemic. The tourism sector will continue to be one of the most affected sectors, given that it is linked to international demand and restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading.
  • Food prices remain high, particularly for staple grains. In accordance with seasonal trends, prices will tend to increase until the next primera harvest. The arrival of fresh corn and beans on the market will improve availability and cause prices to slightly drop, although they will most likely remain above the five-year average. Urban and peri-urban public transportation services have yet to resume a normal schedule and still have capacity restrictions and high fees, which continue to impede household movement.
  • Corn and bean crops are developing favorably across the country. The primera harvest, the only harvest in the Altiplano, and the postrera harvest are expected to be average. However, irregular rainfall during the first rainy season caused planting to be postponed in some eastern areas. In localized western areas, strong winds and hail could affect crop yields.
  • Countrywide, poor households are expected to continue to have difficulties purchasing their minimum food needs and will likely resort to stressed coping strategies, such as reducing health and education expenses, using up their savings, and consuming lower quality food in their diet to meet their nutritional needs. These households will likely experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes throughout the scenario period, although the situation is expected to improve for some households by the start of 2022.
  • The poorest rural households will likely experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during the lean season until September, and many will likely resort to crisis strategies to obtain food. Beginning in October, however, they will rely on corn and beans from their harvest and income generated during the season of peak demand for labor. Increased income will allow them to improve their food consumption, and an improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes is expected. Among households in the Dry Corridor and areas affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota, however, the rise in income is not expected to prevent food consumption gaps or prevent the use of crisis strategies, sustaining Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.

For more information, see the Guatemala Food Security Outlook for June 2021 to January 2022.

Remote Monitoring Countries[1]

El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua

  • Large and medium producers will reach near average primera and postrera crop production throughout the region, yet below-average harvests are expected for small producers, limiting income generation for poor households. Crop damage is expected from dry conditions in central and eastern Honduras and northwestern Nicaragua and from above-average rainfall in the Pacific basin in El Salvador.
  • Staple food prices will be above average throughout most of the outlook period in all three countries. Imports are expected to help stabilize the effects of reduced domestic production, preventing steeper increases.
  • Economic recovery will continue to be uneven and gradual through January. The slow COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Honduras and Nicaragua will continue limiting economic activity, especially in urban areas, despite a minimal level of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in parts of the coffee-producing livelihood zone in western El Salvador, in hurricane-affected areas of northern and southern Honduras and northwestern Nicaragua until the primera harvest in September. From October to January, the primera and postrera harvests, a seasonal increase in income from cash crop labor, and a relative decline in food prices will alleviate the severity of food insecurity in most of the region. However, several areas in the Dry Corridor will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), especially in Honduras. Although Nicaragua will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, Nueva Segovia department is also an area of concern within the Dry Corridor.

For more information, see the El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua Remote Monitoring Report for June 2021 to January 2022

 

[1] With remote monitoring, an analyst typically works from a nearby regional office, relying on a network of partners for data. Compared to previous series of countries in which FEWS NET has a local office, reports on remote monitoring countries may offer less detail.

EVENTS THAT MIGHT CHANGE THE OUTLOOK

Table 1. Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario

Area Event Impact on food security outcomes
Regional Exceptionally heavy rainfall or tropical storms An above-average tropical storm season is forecast from June to November 2021. Depending on the trajectory and magnitude of storms, the direct or indirect impacts could change crop production prospects and negatively affect other food and income sources. Crop and other livelihood losses would likely increase the population in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Significant rainfall could cause floods, soil erosion, and landslides, which would result in the loss of crops and cause road damage, in turn reducing food availability and household access to employment and markets. Heavy rains and excess moisture could also cause fungal crop disease and post-harvest losses, which would reduce household food stocks for consumption and sales. 
Regional

Reinstatement of COVID-19 restrictions

A severe deterioration of the COVID-19 health crisis could prompt governments to take drastic measures to limit normal market operations and informal sector activities. This would most likely reduce household income from livelihood activities such as petty trade, informal labor, and non-essential formal employment, resulting in a rise in the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, especially in urban areas. 
Haiti Resurgence of socio-political unrest Increased unrest and violence would likely disrupt current economic and market operations. This would lead to reduced food availability and access, leading more households to adopt negative food consumption or livelihoods coping strategies. Additionally, some coping strategies may be more difficult to access, leading to an increase in households with food consumption deficits. As a result, an increase in the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) would be likely.

 

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