Guatemala: Thousands of Drought-Affected Families Will Receive Food Rations

The families live in the departments of Baja Verapaz, El Progreso, Jutiapa and El Quiché, which are located in the so-called “Dry Corridor”, a region affected by a prolonged drought. Meanwhile the Government of Guatemala is providing food assistance to other families in the departements of Chiquimula, Zacapa and Jalapa.

GUATEMALA- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Government of Guatemala, started the first phase of food distributions by providing rations to more than 39.000 people who have been affected by a prolonged drought in the departments of Baja Verapaz, El Progreso, Jutiapa and El Quiché.

Guatemala is a highly vulnerable country to natural disasters and climate change, and now faces a prolonged drought that has affected hundreds of families by causing severe damages to their crops,” said Guy Gauvreau, WFP Representative in Guatemala. “Our priority is to ensure that these families receive all the help they need, in order to avoid a deterioration of their food security.

WFP’s actions are complementary to the Government’s response which provides assistance to more than 56.000 people living in the departments of Chiquimula, Zacapa and Jalapa.

WFP, government counterparts (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the National Secretariat for Food Security), FAO, NGOs, and local authorities, conducted a rapid assessment to identify the needs for immediate food assistance to the affected families living in the Dry Corridor. The assessment’s criteria were: 1) families with losses greater than 50% of their harvest, 2) no food reserves, 3) families with children with acute malnutrition, 4) subsistence farmers and 5) the unemployed.

Key findings identified a total of 102.015 people affected in seven departments: Jalapa, El Progreso, Jutiapa, Zacapa, Santa Rosa, Baja Verapaz and El Quiché.

Food rations include: Rice, beans and a fortified mix of Corn Soya Blend (CSB) to cover the nutritional requirements of each of the beneficiaries for 20 days.