Over 2.8 million people have been drastically affected by drought in the Central American corridor of Honduras and Guatemala and are in drastic need of humanitarian aid, the United Nations reported Friday.
The U.N. said they will begin to roll out their Humanitarian Response Plan that will work with the governments of the two nations through its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs or OCHA.
According to OCHA, people urgently “need food assistance, health care, water and sanitation, nutrition, recovery of livelihoods and capacity building to address these phenomena.”
This is the second year in a row that Central America has experienced major drought and crop losses. Last year's drought caused several governments in the region to declare a state of emergency for the catastrophic effects the weather left on their countries' food production abilities.
The United Nations took notice of the drought this year, saying insufficient and erratic rainfall has resulted in the loss of staple grain crops and the death of thousands of cattle in Honduras and Guatemala, putting the livelihoods of thousands of people at risk.
The areas hardest hit by the drought are rural communities and particularly families who depend on subsistence farming.
According to specialists, the drought is caused by El Nino—a weather phenomenon induced by rising sea levels and warm currents entering the Pacific Ocean causing drastic changes in weather patterns.
The effects of El Nino are expected to get worse over the next months in the region, and affect an area that extends from Guatemala all the way through to Costa Rica.