Japan helps WFP feed hurricane victims in Guatemala

Published on 22 November 2005

WFP welcomes a contribution from the Government of Japan of US$200,000 to the agency’s emergency operation to feed the victims in Guatemala hit by Hurricane Stan.

WFP has welcomed a contribution from the Government of Japan of US$200,000 to the agency’s emergency operation to feed the victims in Guatemala hit by Hurricane Stan.

The donation will be spent to purchase maize.

The contribution was announced by Akiko Yamanaka, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, directly to Susana Malcorra, Deputy Executive Director of WFP, on an official visit to Japan.

Chronic malnutrition

Even before the hurricane, the rate of chronic malnutrition among children (in Guatemala) was almost 50 percent

Susana Malcorra, Deputy Executive Director of WFP

“The disaster of last month occurred in a country where even before the Hurricane, the rate of chronic malnutrition among children was almost 50 percent," said Malcorra.

"Japan’s donation is very helpful, as there is a very short timeline to receive money for the crisis.”

Land washed away

In the worst affected areas, a large proportion of arable land has been washed away. Many people lost their food stocks and will gather small harvests starting in December.

For those who lost their entire crops, it will be another year before they can harvest the next crop.

Severe hunger crisis

WFP is warning that people in Guatemala may be facing a severe hunger crisis as early as the end of the year.

On 27 October, WFP appealed for US$14.1 million to assist 285,000 people for six months. So far, WFP has so received US$4.36 million, leaving a shortfall of almost 70 percent.