United States Gives US$10 Million To Assist Central Americans Hit By Drought & Coffee Rust

Published on 29 September 2014

 
PANAMA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of US$10 million from the United States to assist people across Central America affected by severe drought and the Coffee Rust disease.

“We thank the United States of America for this generous contribution that will provide  thousands of people with vital food assistance,” said WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Miguel Barreto. “We are hopeful that our other regular donors follow the U.S. lead so that we can extend this crucial nutritional support.”

The contribution, channelled through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, will provide cash transfers and food vouchers to some 220,000 food insecure people. Cash and vouchers are especially useful when food is available in the market, but people cannot afford to buy it.

At the request of the governments of Central America, WFP plans to provide food assistance to nearly 1.5 million people, for which more than US$65 million is required.

The combined effects of a severe and prolonged drought, the ongoing Coffee Rust plague and the rise in staple food prices is seriously affecting the food and nutrition security of families in Central America.

The resulting reduction in temporary job opportunities is affecting incomes, especially among people who depend on temporary work or day-to-day farm labour to feed their families living in the “Dry Corridor” - a drought-prone area shared by four Central American countries. According to initial estimates, more than 2 million people may be in need of food assistance.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Alejandro Chicheri, WFP/Latin America and the Caribbean, Tel. 317 3900, Mob. 6671 5355
Elio Rujano, WFP/Latin America and the Caribbean, Tel. 317 3900, Mob. 6677 0608