International help needed for food assistance

Photo credit: UN News Centre

Some of the food distributed to the drought-affected communities of Las Hastas and Los Achiotes in the town of Orocuina, Choluteca, Honduras. Photo: WFP/Hetze Tosta

As Central America drought causes food shortages, UN agency calls for urgent funding

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) voiced concern today over the impact a “severe and prolonged” drought in four Central American States may have on food and nutrition security across the region.

Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, WFP Spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told journalists that more than 2 million people in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua are in need of food assistance following a drawn-out dry spell during the first crop cycle of 2014.

According to Ms. Byrs, an Emergency Food Security Assessment conducted by the WFP and other UN agencies in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador reported that families had resorted to negative coping strategies such as reducing health and education expenditures, consuming seed reserves, decreasing expenditures on agricultural inputs, begging, selling breeding livestock, and selling land.

Numerous households in the three countries had also reported the migration of at least one family member over the two months preceding the Assessment.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

%d bloggers like this: