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Limited transportation and high costs hinder food access

  • Key Message Update
  • Guatemala
  • September 2020
Limited transportation and high costs hinder food access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Primera's staple grain crops have begun to flow into the markets, marking the seasonal decline in prices. Despite a better supply and extended market opening hours, access continues to be reduced due to transport difficulties, the cost of which has doubled or tripled due to distancing measures. According to the consumer price index for August, the transportation and food categories show the highest increases.

    • Government assistance programs continue to lag behind in their implementation. The Bono Familia, which has more urban coverage, was reactivated in August after a two-month halt. The second distribution of Q1,000 has already reached 78 percent of 2.6 million beneficiaries. The third distribution, scheduled for October, is expected for a lower amount. The Food Support program targeting 1 million poor urban and rural households is progressing slowly and will be completed in November.

    • As of September 17, the COVID alert board indicates that 165 municipalities are on red alert, 101 in orange and only 74 in yellow. Despite this, the land, air and sea borders opened on September 18. The gradual reopening has allowed economic reactivation in most sectors, although it has not reached pre-pandemic levels. The loss of sources of income due to definitive closures and distancing measures influence the recovery.

    • The Ministry of Health and the Secretary of Food and Nutritional Security, with the support of various NGOs and international cooperation, began actively searching for cases of acute malnutrition in August. Preliminary results show that the prevalence is at levels considered similar from the last national maternal and child health survey.

    • Government assistance programs allow the majority of households to be classified in food security (Phase 1! CIF) and food insecurity in Stress and (Phase 2 !, CIF) until October. As of October, when the assistance ends and despite the offer of temporary employment, debts, food and transportation costs, and the continuous adjustment of the quantity and quality of the food diet, it will cause a relapse to insecurity in Stress (Phase 2, CIF) and Crisis (Phase 3 CIF), particularly in the dry corridor.

    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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