Guatemala: Acute Food Insecurity Situation August - October 2020 and Projection for November 2020 - March 2021
3.7 million people in high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above)
01.08.2020 > 31.03.2021


& next steps



From August to October 2020, about 3.7 million people were facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), and therefore, required urgent action. This figure will likely decrease to 2.7 million people between November 2020 and March 2021. Until October 2020, the departments classified as being in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) were: Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Huehuetenango, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Sololá, Suchitepéquez, Totonicapán and Zacapa. The economic effects of the COVID-19 mitigation measures have been counteracted by state and private humanitarian aid, preventing a greater severity of acute food insecurity in most departments.

From November 2020 to March 2021, the departments of Chiquimula, Huehuetenango, Quiché and Totonicapán are expected to remain in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). The population most affected is composed mainly of subsistence farmers who have suffered losses of income due to mobility and transport restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and small informal traders who are forced to use Crisis or Emergency coping strategies to reduce their food gaps, such as selling productive assets.

Key Drivers

COVID-19: Government-mandated confinement measures due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and in Guatemala have led to restrictions on mobility, which means a decrease in transport to access markets, workplaces, and basic services.

Food prices: Despite market support, speculation and uncertainty have been reflected in rising prices of basic grains, affecting food access for the majority of the population that depends on the purchase of these foods.

Loss of income: Sources of income have been reduced, either because they are related to informal trade, or because sources of employment have been closed. As a result, people have been experiencing great difficulties in accessing food, and are forced to resort to Crisis coping strategies.

Country Related Information


Join our mailing list