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Confinement and lack of employment are contributing to food insecurity in the region

  • Key Message Update
  • El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua
  • May 2020
Confinement and lack of employment are contributing to food insecurity in the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The COVID-19 crisis has caused the loss of formal and informal employment in rural and urban areas, as well as the decrease in remittances. The loss of income and the increase in the price of basic goods contribute in Honduras and El Salvador to Stressed (Phase 2 !, CIF) acute food insecurity outcomes thanks to food assistance in June. Between June and September, El Salvador will remain in Stress (Phase 2, CIF) but Honduras will continue to suffer from the impact of sanitary measures and the previous poor harvest. Nicaragua will remain in Stress (Phase 2, CIF) between May and September with a possible deterioration due to the advance of the COVID-19 contagion.

    • As of May 27, COVID-19 monitoring records 4,401 confirmed cases, 459 recovered, 188 deceased in Honduras; 2,109 confirmed cases, 873 recovered, 37 deceased and 1,199 active cases in El Salvador; according to official source 254 confirmed cases, 199 recovered in Nicaragua.

    • To mitigate the effects of the crisis, the government of Honduras continues to distribute food rations for the Honduras Solidaria project, targeting approximately 1.2 million people and supplying the food requirement for approximately 12 days. El Salvador completed the transfer of USD300 per family, serving a population of approximately 1.5 million families (approx. 4.5 million people). In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock distributed food baskets through 262 municipalities in the country that will cover 1 million vulnerable families.

    • The first agricultural season (Primera) started in the region, with good vegetative development due to the behavior of the rains, except for areas with irregular rainfall; Climate forecasts indicate that average to above average rainfall is expected for the first season from May to August.

    • In the Tegucigalpa and Managua markets, the average price of grains has shown significant increases between March and April; corn rose between 8.4 and 17.7%, which can be attributed to the losses of the Primera 2019/2020 harvest; Red bean prices register higher increases, between 15 and 51%, due to seasonality and the impact of COVID-19. In the third week of May, Nicaragua and Costa Rica have decided to close their common border, disrupting commercial exchange from South America to Mexico.

    • In Nicaragua, the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 is on the rise, with the risk of the collapse of the national healthcare system, which could increase the economic deterioration that prevailed due to the socio-political conflict that began in 2018 and continues until now. If the government decides to close the activities, this would affect the income of the urban population and access to food.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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