As is typical of most areas of the world that straddle the equator, climate change disproportionately effects Central American countries, especially in the “Dry Corridor” of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. This summer’s drought leads some analysts to conclude that millions of Central Americans may face a devastating food shortage in the coming months. And as the clouds of food insecurity gather, other social maladies such as crime and poor public health outcomes may be exacerbated.
Lower than average rainfall in June and July has led to major crop losses for small-scale maize and bean farmers in Central America’s “Dry Corridor”, which runs through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
This means subsistence farmers will not have enough food to eat or sell in the coming months, and have no food supplies to see them through the lean time between harvests.
“Climate-related disasters are clearly becoming more frequent and causing more damage,” Miguel Barreto, WFP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.
“Projected temperature increases and rainfall shortages in the Dry Corridor are of particular concern.”
The United Nations says Central America is one of the regions most vulnerable to extreme weather linked to climate change.
The region was hit hard by consecutive years of drought from 2014 to mid-2016, which left millions in need of food aid.
“The warning this year is that in the poor areas, that is the dry corridor, people have already used their (food) stock,” said Oscar Rojas, natural resources officer with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).