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High prices driving food insecurity across the region, while erratic rainfall and localized delays are impacting ongoing cropping seasons in Central America and Haiti

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • June 2023
High prices driving food insecurity across the region, while erratic rainfall and localized delays are impacting ongoing cropping seasons in Central America and Haiti

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Haiti, insecurity, inflation, and prolonged atypical dryness on agricultural and livestock production continue to disrupt typical livelihoods. Despite the appreciation of the HTG against the USD, prices of staple foods remain high compared to the annual and five-year average, limiting poor households’ purchasing power. Furthermore, while rainfall conditions improved in May, atypical dryness throughout the spring season will likely contribute to below average spring production. Finally, the security situation across the country remains volatile. While much of the country will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, an intensification in cases of begging, theft, and the sale of wood is observed, leading to an increase in populations in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), particularly in Bombardopolis (lower North-West). Cité Soleil also remains in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), as livelihoods remain significantly disrupted by insecurity.

    • In most of Central America, poor urban and rural households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through September, given atypically high prices, which are likely to continue through the peak of the lean season. Despite recent month-on-month stability and a deceleration of annual inflation for both food and general inflation across the region, prices remain well above average. In addition, very poor households in localized areas of the Honduran, El Salvadoran, and Guatemalan Dry Corridor and in the Western Altiplano and Alta Verapaz in Guatemala, have seed significant livelihoods deterioration in recent years due to accumulated, previous shocks. Having already exhausted their food reserves and savings, they are forced to apply negative coping strategies to help their limited income stretch to cover food consumption gaps now through the peak of the lean season, resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until at least the beginning of the next harvest in late August.

    • The forecast of El Niño conditions through the end of the year increases the probability of below-average accumulated rainfall, likely erratic distribution, and above-average temperatures, which will negatively affect the ongoing primera crop development and the start of the postrera season. Satellite images indicate that areas in central Honduras and Nicaragua's Dry Corridor have shown considerable deterioration in agricultural growing conditions since April. Due to the aforementioned, a delay in the start of season for primera sowings, difficulties in feeding livestock given declining pasture conditions, and a reduction in subsistence production are expected, especially throughout the Dry Corridor.

    • In Venezuela, continual price increases in the local currency (VED) continue to reduce the purchasing power of poorer households earning in this denomination. Households earning in VED and with limited access to remittances and/or social protection systems are likely to apply negative coping strategies or experience food consumption gaps, resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. However, these households are spread out across the country, and area-level classification will remain driven by the majority of poor households, whose income is in USD and who have better access to social programs and/or remittances, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through September. In April, general and food inflation rates in VED slowed down compared to March, and month-on-month increases remained below five percent. In early May, the Venezuelan government increased the amounts associated with Cesta Ticket and the economic bonus (Bono Contra La Guerra Economica), which are expected to translate into significant income gains for recipient households.

    Recommended Citation: FEWS NET. Latin America and the Caribbean. Key Messages: High prices driving food insecurity across the region, while erratic rainfall and localized delays are impacting ongoing cropping seasons in Central America and Haiti. 2023.

    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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