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Cité Soleil remains in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Haiti; high food prices limit access across the region

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • February 2023
Cité Soleil remains in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Haiti; high food prices limit access across the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Haiti, most of the country continues to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as households employ Crisis coping strategies to manage the continued depreciation of the HTG and inflation. In Cité Soleil, the resumption of economic activities has provided some relief and improved access to income for poor households; however, the situation remains precarious and poor households continue to employ more severe coping strategies, resulting in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.

    • According to the World Bank, Haiti is ranked among the top ten countries most affected by food inflation. Between January 2022 and January 2023 alone, the HTG lost more than 45 percent of its value against the USD, keeping food prices high as foreign exchange reserves remain mainly allocated to the payment of fuel. Although autumn harvests somewhat improved local food availability in December, it did not significantly influence food prices or access. Meanwhile, the socio-political situation has not improved despite a slight drop in gang activity in early January. The security situation remains volatile, with Martissant, Cité Soleil, Pétion-Ville, Croix des Bouquets and Canaan the areas most affected by associated market distortion.

    • In Central America, with continued high prices limiting purchasing power amid the continued economic impact of previous shocks, there are still pockets of households and some areas – in the Dry Corridor, western Altiplano, and Alta Verapaz in Guatemala – unable to recover their livelihoods and who are using Crisis (IPC Phase 3) strategies to cope. The postrera harvest, however, did allow for an improvement in the availability of reserves and a slight decrease in reported prices, although it did not generate expected seasonal price drops. Seasonal employment opportunities are currently sufficient for most households in the region to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through May 2023, although some additional households and areas are expected to fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as food prices rise just as the lean season deepens.  

    • In the Guatemalan Altiplano, the only agricultural cycle for the year concluded with below-average harvests for poor households following declines in cropped area as farmers saw agricultural input costs rise. Forecasts of cold fronts are expected to damage some tuber, vegetable, and fruit crops, but not significantly impact household food security. In Nicaragua and Honduras, an average apante harvest is expected in February/March, which will allow for the continued supply of red beans for the coming months. Across the region, although a normal start of the primera season is likely, small producers are expected to reduce cropped areas – similar to 2022 – due to the continued high prices of agricultural inputs.

    • Markets are well-supplied and operating normally. However, white maize and beans prices remained stable in December, compared to November, instead of exhibiting typical seasonal price declines. Prices remain well above last year and the five-year average in all four countries. Meanwhile, headline inflation, also remained high, showing year-on-year variations of 9.2, 7.3, 9.8, and 11.6 percent for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, respectively.

    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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