A coffee rust outbreak in Central America and the Dominican Republic which was widespread by June 2013 threatens the main source of income of hundreds of thousands of poor households. WFP has implemented food security related assessments in Guatemala and other countries of the region to better understand the impact of the coffee rust on livelihoods. The negative impacts for the coffee industry are expected to be long lasting. Some observers are suggesting that a full recovery might not be possible until 2016.
In Guatemala, the coffee rust has caused a reduction of employment opportunities in coffee plantations and casual labourers have started to migrate to other regions of the country to seek work. Meanwhile, primera crop losses in the dry corridor also affected farming households. Lower incomes and the decline in the basic grain harvest are leading to a depletion of household grain stocks and could therefore lead to more severe seasonal food deficits during the lean season.
The impact of staple food price changes on the cost of the basic food basket from October to December 2013 was moderate.