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Lean season begins in Guatemala

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • March 2020
Lean season begins in Guatemala

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • As of March 30, Guatemala has reported 34 cases of COVID-19. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, the government has enacted a series of measures including the temporary suspension of many private and government business and restrictions to population movement, which could impact the access to both formal and informal income-generating activities. The Government has also taken measures to mitigate the impact on economic activity, for which resources have been approved to address the emergency, including food assistance.

    • Following the government’s actions to suspend business operations and limit population movement decreed on March 17, the price of corn increased atypically and temporarily from Q133.00/QQ to Q187.50 that same day at the Terminal market in the capital, reaching Q300 / QQ in several markets. However, the price rise was mainly due to a panic and the corn returned to Q170.00 / QQ the following day, as the markets resupplied. To date, trade flows of food goods remain normal.

    • With the end of the season of high demand for labor, temporary workers return to their homes to dedicate themselves to their basic grain planting that takes place between March and May. In areas of the western Highlands, residual soil moisture humidity has allowed planting to start during the first half of March. During the upcoming months, the main option of poor households for income generation is sporadic employment for land preparation and planting of Primera.

    • Poor households in the dry corridor do not have food reserves for the upcoming months. The income earned during the high season of casual labor has been used quickly, so the cash available to buy food is minimal, leading to Stressed food insecurity (IPC, Phase 2) until May. As the lean season progresses, households will make adjustments in the quantity and quality of food and will intensify the use of negative coping strategies to ensure minimum food consumption, so they will be classified in Crisis (IPC, Phase 3).

    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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