CERF Allocation


Drought, 18 Mar 2020

Overview of the humanitarian situation

The northern Central America dry corridor, including Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, has been strongly impacted by droughts and extended dry spells since 2015, due to the strong influence of the El NiƱo phenomena. This has resulted in loss of vital harvests (mainly maize and beans) and death of livestock and domestic animals among poor and vulnerable farmers. The Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) carried out by the WFP in November 2019 estimated that around 2.3 million people, including 450,000 children under 5, suffer from moderate and severe food insecurity, mostly in 13 out of the 22 states. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition in children under 5 at national scale is 49 per cent. In rural areas, malnutrition rates increase to 60 per cent. Chronic malnutrition is also reported in a high percentage of pregnant and lactating women. The national rate of maternal mortality in Guatemala is 108 deaths per every 100,000 inhabitants. This figure, in the target state of Huehuetenango, climbs up to 201, one of the highest in the Latin America region. The rate of neonatal mortality is 18 deaths per every 1,000 live births and the rate of mortality in children under 5 is 35 deaths per every 1,000. Only around 61 per cent of the national population have access to safe water. This figure decreases dramatically in rural and poor areas. Open ground defecation it is still reported among 8 per cent of the rural population.

CERF-funded assistance

In 2020, humanitarian needs were on the increase in Guatemala but key humanitarian programmes were underfunded. As a result, CERF allocated $5 million on 12 December 2019 to Guatemala from its Underfunded Emergencies window to sustain the implementation of key life-saving operations. This funding enabled UN agencies and partners to provide life-saving assistance to approximately 180,000 people, including 60,000 women, 31,000 men, 99,000 children, and 13,000 people with disabilities in the Agriculture, Food Assistance, Health, Nutrition, Protection, SGBV and WASH sectors.

CERFs Strategic Added Value

CERF funds led to fast delivery of assistance to beneficiaries and increased the visibility of the humanitarian situation in Huehuetenango (one of the territories in Guatemala with highest levels of food insecurity). CERF improved resource mobilization for the responses. For example, the country team was able to work with NGOs with other funding sources (e.g. funding from USAID and UE ECHO) operating in the area. Additional funds from the European Commission and the Swiss Cooperation were available to cover an increased number of people. CERF also improved coordination. For example, the Group of Food Security in Huehuetenango composed of government organizations was very active and worked together with humanitarian partners to leverage the operation.

Projects included in this allocation

Organization Project title Code Amount in US$
WFP Food Assistance to Food-insecure Households, Acutely Malnourished Children, and women at risk in Huehuetenango 20-UF-WFP-016 US$1,998,787 Read more
UNICEF Assuring Survival Through Urgent Treatment to Acutely Malnourished Children in Eight Municipalities in Huehuetenango 20-UF-CEF-018 US$996,545 Read more
UNICEF Community Engagement to Improve Access to Water and Sanitation Emergency Services in Rural Areas of Huehuetenango 20-UF-CEF-019 US$250,000 Read more
FAO Reestablishing food security and agriculture productive capacities on 3,500 families affected by food insecurity 20-UF-FAO-012 US$600,000 Read more
UNFPA Sexual & reproductive health emergency care services & mitigation of GBV due to malnutrition and food insecurity emergency in Huehuetenango Guatemala 20-UF-FPA-014 US$199,997 Read more
WHO Strengthening the response of emergency health services for acute malnutrition care in 8 municipalities 20-UF-WHO-013 US$798,270 Read more
UN Women Empowerment and access of women and girls affected by food insecurity to protection, care, support services and networks. 20-UF-WOM-002 US$150,078 Read more