food insecurity in guatemala
Concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and international shipping delayed the distribution of the donation until now. In addition, Guatemala has the sixth highest level of chronic malnutrition in the world, and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Central American region produces less than half a percent of total global carbon emissions, but it is one of the areas most threatened by climate change. Government services to address such systemic problems are consistently inadequate and underfunded, tantamount to willful neglect of the population’s most basic needs. – The Huffington Post,, How Amazon and UPS Battle Food Insecurity in Guatemala, West African Super Grain Bringing Prosperity to Sahel Farmers, 3 Things to Know About Hunger in the Congo Region, Guatemala Minister of Education Claudia Ruíz Casasola. Poor and vulnerable Guatemalans lack economic access to food within their local marketplaces. The jump is particularly notable given that over half (54 percent) of the calories accounted for come from basic, locally produced staples: beans and maize. This partnership has allowed WFP to continue its efforts in supporting the Guatemalan government’s school feeding program while combating global hunger as a whole. In 2030, the target year of the UN Sustainable Development Goal to eradicate hunger completely, Guatemala will need to provide public services and economic opportunities for over 21 million people. Feed the Future programming supports food and nutrition security in 19 countries globally, including three in the Americas: Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti. Irregular rainfall patterns in recent years across Central America’s Dry Corridor—a region that encompasses a large portion of southern Guatemala—have resulted in poor harvests, lost labor opportunities, and reduced household-level incomes, making it more difficult for vulnerable families to access enough nutritious food. In the face of food security crises mounting in both frequency and severity, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva proclaimed: “We need to change the traditional response strategy and tackle the structural causes of poverty and food insecurity in Central America’s Dry Corridor, and not settle for simply mounting a humanitarian response every time an emergency situation occurs.”. One informant explained that there are 186 speed bumps between two major trade areas — Quiche and Los Encuentros. The L’Aquila Joint Statement on Food Security was signed at G-8 meetings just months before, and Guatemala came to be the largest recipient of U.S. food security investments in the Americas in the years to follow. April 7, 2020 Consecutive years of irregular rainfall in Central America’s Dry Corridor have exacerbated acute food insecurity among poor households in Guatemala. As a result, many school-aged children face stunted growth and the pandemic contributed to a total of 1.2 million citizens, already in need of food assistance. Guatemala’s child stunting prevalence of 46.5 percent is comparable to rates recently observed in Yemen and Malawi (Feed the Future’s poorest country). In September 2009, the government of Guatemala declared a food security state of emergency amid the worst drought in 30 years on the heels of the global economic crisis. In 2014, the National Institute of Statistics estimated that nearly 820,000 hectares were used for maize production. The government of Guatemala declared a food security state of emergency in September 2009 in response to the coalescing contributions of the global economic and food price crises, a 10 percent reduction in remittances, and climate change that drove $23 million in crop losses between January and September of that year. Crop losses in parts of the dry corridor were estimated in the range of 80 to 100 percent, affecting 2.5 million Guatemalans. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2 percent of commercial producers use 57 percent of the country’s land while 92 percent of smallholders share just 22 percent of it. September 1, 2020, brought joy to citizens of Guatemala City as nearby schools finally received a long-awaited donation from the company, Amazon. White maize is more heavily consumed than yellow maize, which is often used as poultry feed. And so, despite its relative overall prosperity, Guatemala has made underwhelming development progress over the two decades since the end of its multigenerational civil conflict. The provision of effective potable water and sanitation services is required by Guatemalan law, but few municipalities are able to meet this requirement and have no strong incentive structure to do so. Nearly 15 times as much land is allocated to maize as to beans but productive output diverges even more starkly: maize output is now about 44 times that of beans. The World Food Programme estimates that increased prices resulted in a 6 percent reduction in food consumed over that period. Indigenous households comprise over three-quarters of that group despite numbering less than half of the overall population. The majority of community water sources are contaminated with E. coli and several other bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Despite its lower-middle-income status, Guatemala grapples with some of the most alarming food-security challenges in the western hemisphere. The national prevalence of stunting has shown alarmingly slow improvement in over 20 years of peace- it stood at 55 percent in 1995 after the country had been embroiled in civil war for decades. Since the end of the war in 1996, Guatemala has regularly captured only about 11 percent of GDP in tax revenue, peaking at 12.8 percent in 2007 and falling back to 10.8 percent in 2015. Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Guatemala (pdf - 229k). Therefore, making this a moment of excitement and gratitude. Large organizations like the WFP, along with major businesses like Amazon and UPS have the potential to assist in the fight against global hunger in countries like Guatemala. The United States is partnering to improve the health and livelihoods of some of Guatemala’s most disadvantaged people despite this barrage of challenges, or perhaps as a direct result of it. The second most prominent annual crop and an important source of nutrition, black beans, now takes up just 56,000 hectares despite the crop’s earlier prominence. Food Insecurity in Guatemala Reaches Crisis Levels The Guatemalan Food and Nutrition Security Context. The United States is overwhelmingly Guatemala’s largest trading partner, as depicted in Figure 1.5. In addition, Guatemala has the sixth highest level of chronic malnutrition in the world, and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. But with a total fertility rate of 5.1 in 1995 (6.8 among indigenous women) and still 3.1 in 2014–2015 (3.6 among indigenous women — a notable decline), the population grew to 16.7 million by 2016. Inequality in wealth corresponds to inequality in land distribution, which has only been further concentrated in the hands of elites as global demand for sugar cane and palm oil have spiked in the past two decades. Since many households spend over half of their income on food, it also led to an estimated 229,000 non-poor Guatemalans falling into poverty in 2007 alone. Make a general inquiry or suggest an improvement. Favorable harvests and income from seasonal agricultural labor will allow many households to save income and generate food reserves during the ongoing February-to-August lean season, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). Adapted from Tracking Promises: Analyzing the Impact of Feed the Future in Guatemala. A 2014 survey found over 59 percent of the population living in poverty, up from 51 percent in 2006, with a growing concentration classified as “extremely poor” (23 percent). While the economy has diversified somewhat in recent decades, agriculture is still the country’s largest employment sector, now accounting for about a third of the active labor force. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5). A lack of cold storage similarly hampers agricultural market interconnectivity. * Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. The WFP USA also accepts donations and the opportunity to begin fundraising through their website. The overall food price index rose over 16 percent in 2016 (see Figure 1.2), a proportional increase more than four times greater than that observed in other sectors of the economy. This frequent of illness compromises children’s physiological ability to absorb the critical vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients they need to grow, develop, and thrive. The donations expect utilization in January when many public schools plan on welcoming back students. Despite such challenges, agriculture dominates the export market with a different set of food commodities: over a fifth of all Guatemalan exports in 2015 were accounted for by just the top three agricultural products: raw beet and cane sugar, bananas and coffee. And yet, recent data show poverty trends on the upswing. Despite is apparent ubiquity in production, even maize has become much more expensive in recent years. This donation was long-awaited, as Amazon delivered the initial shipment back in February of 2020. Indeed, Guatemala has one of the world’s most unequal wealth distributions: the top fifth of the population accumulated nearly three-fifths of all income in 2014, whereas the bottom fifth captured just 3 percent of it. In 2014, 66 percent did. *The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. Guatemala is home to the largest Americas program and is also overwhelming the wealthiest focus country. In an 18-month period between 2006 and 2008, the nominal cost of a basic food basket rose by over 22 percent, a starker increase than observed in either Honduras (13 percent) or El Salvador (17 percent). In El Salvador, security … Amazon and UPS have set a positive example with this donation. These schools are located in the Dry Corridor, an area that has suffered from food insecurity due to dramatic flooding followed by months of drought. Guatemala has made significant progress in achieving economic stability after decades of civil war but the country still struggles with high levels of poverty and inequality. In 2015, agriculture contributed $6.7 billion to Guatemala’s economy, or 11 percent of gross domestic product. This integrated analysis provides a holistic picture of food insecurity in Guatemala's dry corridor region. Farmers may sell their land due to debt or crop failure, an increasingly prevalent risk in the country’s volatile and changing climate, and larger sugar cane or palm oil companies are taking advantage of the bargain. T he government of Guatemala declared a food security state of... Population Overview. Forecasts suggest that favorable planting conditions from March to May will lead to sufficient crop yields during the August-to-September Primera harvest, improving household food security, FEWS NET reports. PCI activities also prevent and address malnutrition by promoting key health and nutrition messages, and conducting regular acute malnutrition surveillance of children younger than five years of age. While estimates vary, it has been reported that 40 percent of the rural population lacks access to a hose-hold water connection, compounding their vulnerability to the increasing frequency of droughts. Find out about career opportunities at USAID. Consecutive years of irregular rainfall in Central America’s Dry Corridor have exacerbated acute food insecurity among poor households in Guatemala. Representatives from the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Global Food Security Project met with a diverse group of food and nutrition security experts in both Guatemala and Washington in the fall of 2016. With FFP support, PCI also works to diversify livelihood opportunities and economic resilience by establishing women-run savings and loan groups and water-efficient home gardens, which contribute to improved household food security. Amazon is a partner of the World Food Program USA (WFP), an organization dedicated to fighting global hunger and famine.


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