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Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes emerge in Haiti’s Cité Soleil

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • November 2022
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes emerge in Haiti’s Cité Soleil

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  • Key Messages
  • OUTLOOK BY COUNTRY
  • EVENTS THAT MIGHT CHANGE THE OUTLOOK
  • Key Messages
    • In Haiti, socio-political instability, inflation, and fuel shortages are driving widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes have now emerged in Cité Soleil. Livelihoods and access to food have continued to erode due to the increase in gang violence, poor economic conditions, the disruption in the functioning and supply of markets, limited fuel supplies, reduced income-earning opportunities, and high food prices. Gang-related insecurity and long-term inflation have forced businesses and essential services to shut down and limit their operations, further exacerbating food insecurity.

    • In rural areas, the fall harvest is expected to begin in December and is likely to temporarily improve food availability for producing households. Some municipalities in the south expect average to above-average harvests, which, along with seasonal improvements in labor demand, will improve outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, below-average rainfall during the autumn planting season disrupted crop growth and development in the Nord-Ouest, Nord, and Nord-Est departments. Harvests in these areas are expected to be below average.

    • In Central America, seasonal improvements in food security outcomes in both rural and urban areas are expected through early 2023 due to near-average harvests, a slight seasonal decrease in food prices, and seasonal increases in labor demand and income. However, the lean season is expected to begin slightly earlier than usual for poorer households in the Dry Corridor and those impacted by tropical storm Julia, given multiple recent shocks, including crop losses, reduced harvests, and high inflation rates. This will be reflected in the gradual increase in households experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in many parts of the Dry Corridor as well as in the Altiplano and Alta Verapaz in Guatemala.

    • After the postrera harvest, food availability is expected to improve. At the national level, harvests are expected to be near-average across the region; however, subsistence households will likely have below-average harvests due to the reduction in planting areas, lower yields from limited or lack of fertilizer use, and localized damages caused by tropical storm Julia. The weather conditions are likely to be favorable for apante/postrera tardía in Honduras and Nicaragua, especially for red beans. While this will help to mitigate high food prices until February/March, inflation will continue to limit the purchasing power of households throughout the analysis period. Once seasonal labor demand reduces and household stocks are exhausted, poorer households will increasingly reduce the amount of food consumed and employ negative livelihood coping strategies to try and meet their minimum food needs.


    OUTLOOK BY COUNTRY

    Haiti

    • The severity of acute food insecurity is increasing in Haiti, fueled by a rise in gang violence, worsening civil unrest, and poor economic conditions. Increased violence has led to significant reductions in fuel, disrupted market functioning and supply, and fewer household income-earning opportunities, resulting in a significant decrease in food access. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in many parts of Haiti, particularly in the areas most affected by poor agricultural production and market disruptions. Additionally, from the end of 2022 through at least May 2023, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected in Cité Soleil, the area most affected by gang violence.

    • Insecurity increased sharply in Port-au-Prince compared to previous months and began to spread to other major cities in Haiti, marked by increased criminal activity, kidnapping for ransom, political violence, and violent demonstrations. Roadblocks have paralyzed economic activities and disrupted public transportation.

    • Gang blockades of the main fuel storage terminal in Varreux, which stores more than 70 percent of Haiti’s total fuel supply, led to extended fuel shortages and a six-fold increase in the price of gasoline in September and October, which reached 4,000 HTG/gallon in October. The impacts on economic activity and household incomes, already impacted due to insecurity and inflation, have been significant, forcing businesses and essential services such as banks and hospitals to close and limit their operations. Impacts on market supply exacerbated the upward trend in staple food prices, which ranged from 55 to more than 100 percent above the five-year average.

    • The fall harvest in December, which represents only about 20 percent of annual crop production, will likely temporarily improve food access and availability for rural households. However, below-average rainfall during the fall planting season disrupted crop growth and development in the Nord-Ouest, Nord, and Nord-Est departments, where the next harvest is expected to be below average. In the rest of the country, particularly in the southern regions, average to above-average rainfall conditions are conducive to the growth of typical crops for the season. Some southern municipalities, including Plaine des Cayes, Torbeck, Saint-Louis du Sud, Miragoane, and Paillant, will have average fall harvests and a seasonal increase in agricultural labor demand for the winter season, resulting in an improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the harvest period.

    For more information, see the Haiti Food Security Outlook for October 2022 to May 2023.

     

    Guatemala

    • During the entire period covered by this outlook, poor rural households in localized areas of the Eastern Dry Corridor, the Altiplano and Alta Verapaz will be classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). These households were already carrying debts, and their diet has been extremely poor. In the coming months, despite a temporary rise in income, the quick use of these funds, little or no staple grain harvests and the extended reliance on market purchase at far above-average prices will limit the seasonal improvement in their food security. They will need to continue to cut back on the amount of food consumed and employ negative coping strategies such as atypical migration and the sale of productive assets, thus jeopardizing their livelihoods in the long term. For these households, the lean season will begin prematurely, given the difficulty in generating income and dependence on buying products in the market.

    • Due to the damage caused by tropical storm Julia in October, several areas in the north of the country are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, seasonal improvement in income will allow households to return to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes beginning in November and continuing through January 2023. Although in the other rural areas, primera harvests were largely average and improved household reserves and incomes allowed for better access to food, high food and transportation costs reduced household purchasing power, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through January. From February onwards, as sources of temporary employment diminish, the number of households needing to intensify negative coping strategies to meet their food needs will rise. Despite this trend, most rural areas will manage to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), but some areas will have more households shifting to Crisis (IPC Phase 3), thus changing the area-level classification as well.

    • In early October, tropical storm Julia caused heavy rainfall, flooding, and landslides that particularly affected different areas within the Northern Transversal Strip and the Polochic Valley. Subsistence farmers in these areas were the most affected, as maize crops were either drying in the fields (en dobla) or were already harvested and in the process of drying in their homes where there is not enough space for post-harvest handling. The loss of crops will cause affected households to have no grain reserves for consumption in the following months, requiring them to purchase instead at far above-average prices.

    • Stable cash crop exports and improved sale prices will allow the demand for seasonal harvest labor to be within the normal range. However, high food, transportation, and gas prices, particularly diesel – which is no longer subsidized – will place pressure on household purchasing power.

    For more information, see the Guatemala Food Security Outlook for October 2022 to May 2023.

     

    Remote Monitoring Countries[1]

    El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua

    • From October 2022 to January 2023, outcomes for poor households in rural and urban areas are expected to seasonally improve due to the output of the harvests, a slight drop in food prices, and a seasonal increase in income. From February to May 2023, the lean season, which will start early for households most affected by crop loss, will result in a seasonal deterioration of outcomes, accentuated by the ongoing high inflation rates in all three countries. This will be reflected in the gradual rise in households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in all three countries, as the outlook period unfolds, but with no changes in area classification.
    • Following the primera harvest, food availability will further improve with the postrera harvest in November. The postrera harvest will have near average production, despite some post-harvest losses due to excess moisture, and damages from tropical storm Julia. Nonetheless, subsistence households will have lower harvests due to reduced cropped area and the damages caused by tropical storm Julia. The weather forecast will favor the production of the apante/late postrera season in areas of Honduras and Nicaragua, allowing red bean supplies to flow to national and regional markets. It will also favor the beginning of the 2023 primera season, but with smaller than typical cropped area given above-average agricultural input prices.
    • The impact of high prices will be mitigated until February/March given seasonal trends. However, even as staple grain prices decline with the arrival of harvests, the persistence of high inflation will continue to limit the purchasing power of households throughout the analysis period.

    For more information, see the El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua Remote Monitoring Update for October 2022 to May 2023.

     

    [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

    AreaEventImpact on food security outcomes
    RegionalAdditional increases in fuel, food, and transportation prices beyond current projectionsA significant increase in the price of fuel, food, fertilizers, and transportation prices could cause additional increases along supply chains and further reduce access to food for the poorest households, increasing the population facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.
    Central AmericaThe beginning or increase of humanitarian assistance This would improve access and availability for the very poor households who are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). It will allow them to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes.
    Central AmericaAbove-average rainfall during postrera and postrera tardiaAbove average rainfall would increase the risk of pests and diseases, resulting in below average yields and losses for the harvest. It may result in more households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.
    HaitiDecrease of socio-political instabilityA decrease in violence would lead to improvements in market function and a normalizing of economic activities, including a quick resumption of both formal and informal activities. This would result in an improvement in food availability and access, thus a smaller number of areas and households facing  Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In Cité Soleil, an improvement would result in households moving from Emergency (IPC Phase 4) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 
    HaitiDrought conditions or erratic rainfallWater deficits affecting seasonal crops would decrease fodder and water available for livestock, damaging poorer households’ livelihoods and, therefore, their food security outcomes. It may result also in a later start of the 2023 Spring season and would likely increase the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).  

     

    Figures

    Figure 1

    SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR

    Source: FEWS NET

    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

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