Drought in the Dry Corridor of Central America
The Dry Corridor in Central America, in particular Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, is experiencing one of the worst droughts of the last ten years with over 3.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
Smallscale producers and rural communities remain the most vulnerable to drought, an important socio-economic phenomenon given its effects on the loss of livelihoods, decapitalization of household economies, impoverishment and migration to over-populated urban centres.
The significant reduction in agricultural production causes a risk of the depletion of food stocks, decreasing dietary diversity and energy intake of the affected population, while increasing cases of malnutrition in children under five.
FAO constantly monitors the El Niño phenomenon that although has weakened its consequences are still dramatic regarding the food security and nutrition of vulnerable populations following the loss of two consecutive crop harvests.
The impact of the El Niño phenomenon exceeds the capacities of a single organization or government and requires strategic partnerships among the international community. According to climate forecasts, in line with trends, the weakening of a strong El Niño phenomenon triggers La Niña.
La Niña, associated with above-normal rainfall during June to August, could benefit the primera harvests as crop seeds are being planted in drought conditions. However, the probability of excessive rainfall coupled with a more active Atlantic hurricane season (June‒November) ‒ typical of an episode of La Niña ‒ in the region, could have serious consequences for the agriculture sector.
FAO currently seeks USD 17 million to increase the resilience of vulnerable populations in the Dry Corridor against disasters and crises that impact their food and nutrition security.