Disaster Risk Programme to strengthen resilience in the Dry Corridor in Central America

Disaster Risk Programme to strengthen resilience in the Dry Corridor in Central America
Sep 2015

Central America is one of the regions most vulnerable to disaster risks due to its geographical location, high climate variability, exposure to extreme hazards and the institutional and socio-economic weaknesses of its population. Agriculture and food and nutrition security face multiple threats that can cause damage and disrupt regular weather conditions.

One of the areas most affected by extreme hazards, in particular natural hazards, is the Dry Corridor. The term Dry Corridor, although referred to a climatic phenomenon, has an ecological basis and defines a group of ecosystems in the eco-region of dry tropical forests in Central America covering the lowlands of the Pacific coastal area, and most of central pre-mountain region of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guanacaste in Costa Rica and Panama’s Arco Seco area.

Climate risks in the Dry Corridor are mainly represented by recurrent droughts, excessive rains and severe flooding affecting agricultural production, with greater intensity in degraded areas.

It is estimated that in Central America’s Dry Corridor more than 1 million families rely on subsistence farming. The levels of poverty and malnutrition are alarming and mainly affect rural populations and indigenous communities. Most livelihoods depend on climate whereas the percentage of producers of basic grains varies from 54 percent in El Salvador and Honduras to 67 percent in Guatemala.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – in collaboration with its partners and counterparts – is supporting the countries of the Dry Corridor in Central America to increase the resilience of households, communities and institutions to prevent and address disaster risks that affect agriculture and food and nutrition security in a timely and efficient manner.