Tri-national Border of Rio Lempa: Acute Food Insecurity Projection Update June - August 2020
01.06.2020 > 31.08.2020


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From June to August 2020, the period corresponding to the rainy and first planting season and considered as the peak of acute food insecurity within the agricultural cycle, 139,048 (29% of the analysed population) are in high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+). Of these, 119,482 are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 19,482 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

Key Drivers

COVID-19: In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led governments to implement contingency measures such as restriction of movement of people, goods and transport, limited market access and cross-border trade. These measures have resulted in the loss of employment and lower household incomes in both the formal and non-formal sectors in the MTFRL territory. In addition, remittances mainly from the United States, Spain and Italy have decreased due to the loss of employment of family members as a result of the pandemic.

High food prices: In this period, food availability has declined dramatically because locally produced basic grain stocks have already been depleted in some households or will be depleted by August 2020 in others, with 99% of households dependent on purchases. Access to food has been reduced due to the increase in the price of the basic food basket by up to 17% in the municipalities of El Salvador, as well as in other areas of the MTFRL territory with price increases in corn, beans, and eggs. The impact on the quantity and quality of consumption is due to food shortages and the socioeconomic crisis generated by the pandemic. The records of the incidence of acute malnutrition in children under five in the municipalities of Guatemala show an increase of 100% with respect to previous years, associated with the low availability and access to food, in addition to the limitations on access to health services.

Loss of income: Due to low farm household incomes and limited access to inputs, farming areas in general will be diminished and affected in terms of yield, which for this period means reduced demand for labour, and in future periods the low availability of basic grains from the Primera harvest. 47% of households are resorting to the use of livelihood coping strategies, 20% of which are crisis or emergency, leading to a gradual deterioration of their livelihoods. The economic revival of the Tri-national region will extend beyond the projected period. In the Chortí, Güija and Ocotepeque micro-regions, households are marginally able to meet their food needs, achieving this through the depletion of essential livelihood assets and resorting to crisis and emergency coping strategies, placing them in Crisis (Phase 3). The micro-region of Cayaguanca, the smallest in population, despite doubling the number of people in Crisis, remains under Stress (Phase 2). In the Tri-national region, the municipalities of the Chortí micro-region will maintain significant humanitarian aid, both from the government and from cooperation, which will improve access to food. In Güija and Cayaguanca they will be receiving support in smaller proportions from government programs, while in Ocotepeque it is not certain that they will receive any assistance.

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