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  • A Campesino walks through a withered corn crop in Guatemala in 2015.

    A Campesino walks through a withered corn crop in Guatemala in 2015. | Photo: EFE FILE

Published 24 August 2018

The FAO and the WFP warned about El Niño aggravating the already precarious food security in the vulnerable rural communities of these Central American countries. 

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), both part of the United Nations (UN) programs, have warned about the drought in Central America which is affecting millions of people.

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Both UN organizations, in a joint statement, have communicated their concern about the massive drought during June and July that has been affecting crops mainly in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The three countries have reported losses of 281,000 cultivated hectares which the food security and nutrition of 2.1 million people depend, according to the joint statement.

Both the FAO and the WFP have also warned about the arrival of the El Niño climate phenomenon which might further aggravate the already precarious food security in the vulnerable rural communities of these Central American countries. 

The droughts are affecting largely corn and bean, which are part of the main basic food group. The recorded losses will directly impact the price of the products for the entire population. 

"Just when rural communities were recovering from the 2014 drought and the El Niño phenomenon of 2015, the strongest recorded in recent history, a new climate event hits the most vulnerable again," Miguel Barreto, regional director of the WFP for America and the Caribbean, said.

The director added that efforts must be strengthened to bolster rural communities against the often destructive climate phenomenon.

"It is urgent to improve the climate resilience of the inhabitants of Central America," Julio Berdegue, the FAO's Regional Representative, explained, adding that the new drought process will reinforce migration out of the Central American countries.

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