Guatemala: WFP Assists 16,000 Families Affected by Coffee Rust and Drought

In April WFP launched a Food for Assets programme that assists 14.000 households whose income sources and food supplies began to run out since March 2014 due to the crisis of coffee rust and drought that is affecting thousands of small-scale farmer households, unemployed coffee cutters, and households with children suffering from acute malnutrition. On May 26, 2014 the WFP also launched a “Cash for Assets” initiative that currently assists 2,000 families to help mitigate the impact of the Coffee Rust.

On April 28, 2014, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launched a Food for Assets programme in response to coffee rust and droughts affecting the livelihoods of thousands of homes, small-scale producers, coffee pickers, and households with children suffering from acute malnutrition. The aim of the programme is to establish food security within the affected populations and to improve conditions for coffee farmers and their communities. The Food for Assets programme now serves14,000 families in four regions: Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Quiche and Solola.

To provide food assistance and support in the re-establishment of livelihoods lost, through the Food for Assets programme Guatemalan man working on coffee plantation WFP is pursuing to assist 16,000 families in 20 municipalities. The Food for Asset programmes, also commonly referred to as Food-for-Work, will support activities to rebuild the coffee plantations in the affected areas, support families in the implementation of ‘at-home’ gardens, among other food assistance initiatives. Additionally, WFP is in the process of assisting 8.000 families in the departments of Zacapa and El Progreso in eight municipalities through the Resilient Communities Programme (ComRes) in order to mitigate risks, such as drought.

To support these efforts, WFP has requested $14 million from donor countries and international co-operation to achieve the necessary assistance in order to protect the livelihoods of the affected populations—giving priority to families with infants suffering from acute malnutrition.

Iliana Miranda is a young mother who has been affected by the coffee rust that is wrecking havoc in Guatemala. Read more about how Iliana and her family are trying to make ends meet here.