“Assistance to Vulnerable Groups Affected By Natural Disasters And Other Shocks In Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua”

About this Operation

Operation Documents

Budget Revisions

Resource Situation

This Operation has been modified as per Budget Revision 2 (see below)

Food insecurity in Central America - particularly in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala - is closely related to natural disasters and poverty. The region is exposed to recurrent natural disasters and the poorest communities suffer from the repercussions of successive shocks. In recent years, high food prices, the global economic crisis, droughts caused by the El Niño phenomenon, and excessive rainfall and flooding have further compromised the already precarious food security in these four countries.  

This protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) will respond effectively to the many small- and medium-size emergencies in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It is based on a fast and efficient response, including preposition and use of a contingency stock, to support national and regional immediate response to natural disasters. 

Separate from this operation, a parallel Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategy will reduce risk and vulnerabilities of the targeted populations through preparedness and mitigation. This DRR strategy provides the basis for hand-over to national governments and regional institutions, such as the Central America Integration System, by building the capacity of local and regional actors and institutions to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of natural events on the most vulnerable population groups. 

The PRRO will contribute to meet the immediate needs of food-insecure populations affected by recurrent shocks in a timely manner, to protect their livelihoods, avoid a deterioration of the nutritional status of vulnerable individuals, and help them to recover. It contributes to Millennium Development Goal 1 (“eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”) and WFP Strategic Objectives 1 (“save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies”) and 3 (“restore and rebuild lives in livelihoods in post-conflict, post-disaster or transition situations”). The PRRO is aligned with plans of the United Nations and the governments for emergency preparedness and response. 

General food distributions will provide emergency relief to disaster-affected populations and blanket supplementary feeding will benefit children under 2, who are the most vulnerable to acute malnutrition. Early recovery activities, including food-for-work, food-for-training and food-for-assets, will help restore livelihoods and access to markets, and improve resilience to shocks.  

The regional nature and the two-pronged approach of the PRRO will allow WFP to respond in a coordinated and flexible manner to the needs of vulnerable groups affected by recurrent disasters such as hurricanes, which often have a transnational impact. Some communities may need immediate assistance due to a sudden crisis while elsewhere in the region other groups may need support to recover from a previous disaster. Physical food stocks will be established in each country to enable a rapid response in the event of an emergency.  


El Salvador

El Salvador with its 5.7 million inhabitants (in addition over 2 million residing abroad) is a middle income country with profound inequalities in distribution of wealth (GINI: 0.52) and persisting profound levels of poverty. The food and nutritional security situation is of concern with an estimated 16.3 percent of rural families not having sufficien...


The face of Guatemalan hunger is young, female, indigenous and rural. Guatemala has the highest chronic undernutrition rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, and fourth in the world. The situation worsens in rural areas where chronic undernutrition reaches 55 percent and 69 percent among indigenous populations....


With a per capita National Gross Income (NGI) of 980 dollars, Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Recurring natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, drought, swells, and volcanic eruptions) have also destroyed the country’s economic base and caused great human loss. The incidence of poverty is highest amo...