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Acute food insecurity driven by conflict, weather shocks, or poor macroeconomic conditions in countries across the region

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • April 2024
Acute food insecurity driven by conflict, weather shocks, or poor macroeconomic conditions in countries across the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Haiti, the political crisis and insecurity continue to impact the economy and disrupt the livelihoods of poorer households, resulting in widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, while Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected in Cité Soleil and for pockets of very poor households in the metropolitan area. In rural areas, due to the spring harvest, some households may move from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) starting in June with the arrival of the printemps harvest.
    • Supply chains and market functionality remain disrupted, particularly in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Access to the main port in Port-au-Prince remains challenging and operations sporadic and illegal levies imposed by gangs are also disrupting fuel distribution to gas stations and increasing the use of informal markets. These disruptions, combined with atypically high fuel prices, is keeping food prices high compared to last year and the five-year average. 
    • In April, subsistence farmers in Central America – particularly those in the Western Altiplano, Alta Verapaz, and the Dry Corridor of Guatemala and those in Northern Honduras have been forced to rely on markets amid higher-than-normal prices for a prolonged period of time following crop losses in 2023. To close consumption gaps as the lean season progresses, these households will apply coping strategies that will put their livelihoods at risk, resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through September. A seasonal deterioration will begin for the rest of the poor rural households, exacerbated by atypically high prices of food and agricultural inputs. As a result, the majority of poorer households will be classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the lean season, but additional households and some areas are expected to fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) at the height of the lean season until the primera harvest arrives in late August. The harvest will improve food availability in the short term, leading to a shift for poor households in the region to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from September.
    • Rainfall deficits and unusually high temperatures have worsened vegetation conditions and soil moisture and reduced water availability for household use. As the rainy season begins around May, an irregular start to the season is most likely, with delays in the worst-affected areas. A transition to La Niña is expected as the rainy season progresses and forecast above-average rainfall is likely to increase the risk of localized flooding, landslides, and pests and diseases. Maize and beans prices are expected to rise until the primera harvest, followed by a decline in late August. However, the residual effect of previous price increases and weather shocks will likely keep prices above average in most markets. 
    • In Venezuela, very poor households in urban and peri-urban areas that receive their income in VED and lack access to government social programs or international remittances are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as persistently high inflation keeps their purchasing power low with incomes insufficient to cover their food needs. However, the majority of poorer households are expected to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, as they have different sources of income that can ensure they avoid consumption gaps but they struggle to cover their non-food needs. In addition, pockets of small farmers in Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro states remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to the prolonged period of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures negatively affecting agricultural production and labor demand. However, rainfall is expected to stabilize in May, favoring the production of short-cycle crops (tubers, corn, legumes) and improving labor demand; by September, the arrival of rice and maize harvests are likely to support broad improvements for these households to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes as well. 
    • In March 2024, Venezuela reported annual inflation of 67.7 percent with a deceleration of monthly inflation to 1.2 percent, the lowest since August 2012. The prices of a simple diet of cereals and oil and a diversified diet remained stable with a variation of less than 5 percent in both VED and USD, compared to February. While there has been a slight increase in the amounts and coverage of vouchers through Sistema La Patria, compared to 2022, a small decrease in the coverage and frequency of the CLAP (Comités Locales de Abastecimiento y Producción) over the same period was also reported. Nonetheless, public spending is expected to increase in the lead-up to the election season, which may support improved access to food for some households.  

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Latin America and the Caribbean Key Message Update April 2024: Acute food insecurity driven by conflict, weather shocks, or poor macroeconomic conditions in countries across the region, 2024.

    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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