Guatemala | Urgent call for assistance

Guatemala | Urgent call for assistance

23/12/2020

Central America has been severely affected by a record-breaking hurricane season, with Category 4 Hurricane Eta raging through the region at 225 km/h from during the beginning of November, followed by Category 5 Hurricane Iota about two weeks later. The flash rains, strong windsfloods and storm surges triggered by the Hurricanes have affected a total of about 5 million people across Central America and Mexico, which are already hard hit by years of erratic weather patterns and more recently by the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, resulting in potentially significant catastrophic impacts. So far, about 24 percent of people affected are located in Guatemala, with 1.2 million people in the North and North-East regions who are facing displacement, and loss of life, homes, assets and livelihoods, which is impacting agribusiness, forestry, livestock and crop production, and artisanal fishing. The Hurricanes have hit at the start of the new planting season and if rains continue, bean and maize crops are likely to suffer irreparable damages, especially in eastern Guatemala, causing significant harvest losses. FAO urgently requires USD 4 million to provide 110 000 people with emergency agricultural assistance to quickly restore their production activities.