Guatemala: Acute Food Insecurity Situation Projection Update for November 2020 - March 2021
Acute Food Insecurity September 2020 Analysis Projection Update
01.11.2020 > 31.03.2021


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This acute food insecurity analysis is an update of the projection analysis of the period of November 2020 to March 2021, which has been carried out in ten departments that were included in the state of emergency decreed by the Government of Guatemala, due to the damage and impact caused by the Eta and Iota hurricanes during the month of November. The departments analysed are: Alta Verapaz, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jutiapa, Petén, Quiché, Santa Rosa and Zacapa, and the acute food insecurity situation of nearly 6.7 million inhabitants (40% of the total population) in Guatemala (16.9 million inhabitants - INE) is analysed.

This update covers the period of November 2020 to March 2021, which corresponds to the season of high labour demand. According to the livelihood zones, most of these departments belong to the area of basic subsistence and livestock grains; and coffee and cardamom cultivation, among others. Likewise, according to MAGA’s report, these departments were the most impacted by the Eta and Iota hurricanes, with damage to basic grain crops, vegetables and agro-export crops and a damaged area of about 137,000 hectares, generally affecting 204,500 families (equivalent to over 930,000 people), and an economic loss of about Q 897 million.

According to CONRED’s accounts, about 1.8 million people were affected in the 10 departments analysed. The population estimates presented correspond to the 22 departments of the country; however, only the situation in the ten departments most affected by the hurricanes was updated in this projection update. Of the ten departments most affected by this natural phenomenon, eight were classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) for the period of August to October 2020; only Izabal and Petén were classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In the projection from the September 2020 analysis, an improvement in the food insecurity situation was expected due to the government’s actions and because of the boost to the economy and the high demand for labour at this time, with a reduction projected from 22% to 16% of populations facing high levels of acute food insecurity (Phase 3 or above). However, due to the impact and damage caused by the hurricanes, the population likely facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) increased from the 16% previously projected to 23 %, which implies an additional 7% of people in these conditions. Therefore, despite food aid, there are families who are not able to meet their food needs without exhausting essential assets of their livelihoods and implementing Crisis and Emergency coping strategies.

In contrast to what was originally projected during the October 2020 analysis, the departments of Alta Verapaz, El Progreso, Izabal, Jutiapa, Petén, Santa Rosa and Zacapa are expected to change to a higher phase of acute food insecurity, from Stressed (Phase 2) to Crisis (Phase 3), and the departments of Chiquimula, Huehuetenango and Quiche will likely remain in a situation of Crisis (Phase 3). The main factors that have contributed to the deterioration of the situation are the impact on livelihoods of hurricanes Eta and Iota, income losses due to COVID-19 restrictions, rising food prices and limited household food stocks.

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