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Food insecurity deteriorates as governmental aid programs are delayed

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • July 2020
Food insecurity deteriorates as governmental aid programs are delayed

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Food assistance is likely to continue to improve access to food for a majority of households therefore classified in food security (Phase 1! CIF) until September; Households who had been experiencing food insecurity prior to the appearance of COVID-19, particularly those located in the dry corridor, are in Stress (Phase 2 !, CIF). In October when the most important assistance will end, households expected to transition into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity.

    • Despite the recovery of remittances and interdepartmental mobility in some regions, the loss of income and the use of negative coping strategies remain for a many households. Government response programs are making difficult progress, undergoing adjustments as they develop. As of July 21, 1,678,404 households have received the first transfer of the Bono Familia.

    • Although the new projection of the Government indicates that the peak of the contagion by COVID-19 would be reached in October, at the end of July the new “traffic light” strategy will be implemented to regulate the economic reopening and mobility by municipality. The maximum alert in red marks the total restriction of public transport, shopping centers and activities involving large crowds. To date, departments such as Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Escuintla and Quetzaltenango, where the largest industrial and commercial activity in the country is concentrated, are classified in red, hindering income generation.

    • Cases of acute malnutrition identified by the Ministry of Health typically increase uring the lean season. As of June, 17,195 accumulated cases were reported, doubling what was reported for the same period in 2019. The Ministry warns that there is an overestimation caused by a methodological adjustment, which is currently being reviewed. However, the restrictions have impaired regular visits to health services, which would imply less identification of cases of malnutrition. In July, the Government has initiated the active search for cases.

    • In July, the International Regional Organization for Agricultural and Animal Health (OIRSA) warned about the outbreak of the Central American locust in the region. In Guatemala, the presence of the pest was reported in targeted areas, especially in Petén, for which the Ministry of Agriculture carried out the monitoring and control, indicating that at the moment there are no major damages. The timely and continuity of the response are expected to keep the insect from becoming a threat to food security.

    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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