Drought, 18 Mar 2020
|Recipient UN Agencies||FAO, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, WHO|
|Beneficiary type||Other affected persons|
|Title||Guatemala UF Application Feb 2020 (Drought)|
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 Niño 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.
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.