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High prices remain a concern across the region, limit seasonal gains

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • January 2022
High prices remain a concern across the region, limit seasonal gains

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Central America, household debt, and high food, transportation, and fuel prices have reduced purchasing power for poor urban and rural households, despite recent postrera harvests and high demand for unskilled labor. As a result, these households will continue to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through May 2022. In the Dry Corridor of Honduras and Guatemala, most areas affected by storms Eta and Iota, as well as the Altiplano in Guatemala will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through May 2022 due to limited reserves following primera and postrera losses.

    • In December, income will increase for rural and urban households engaged in agricultural and unskilled labor. Remittance flows also increased during the holiday season. However, inflation continues to limit economic recovery for most poor households. Though markets remain well supplied, the price of white maize and beans increased atypically compared to 2020 and the five-year average due to a combination of high transportation and fertilizer costs, inflation, and localized postrera losses.

    • Current climate forecasts indicate cumulative rainfall to be close to average through March 2022, although for central and eastern Nicaragua, cumulative rainfall is likely to below-average, and may slightly reduce postrera tardía/apante harvests between February and March 2022. However, in Guatemala, average rainfall is expected, with above-average rainfall anticipated in the Northern Transversal Strip. As a result, a normal start of primera season is anticipated. The cold front season is forecast to be slightly above normal, which could negatively impact vegetables, root, and tubers crops.

    • In Haiti, ongoing winter harvests of roots and tubers is seasonally improving local food availability. However, staple food prices remain significantly above average due to the continued depreciation of the exchange rate and high transportation costs from rising fuel prices. Households unable to engage in income earning opportunities due to insecurity in Port-au-Prince, those from areas suffering the residual impact of the earthquake, and those that experienced below-average fall/winter production and are more heavily dependent on the market for their consumption, continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through May 2022.

    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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