Some 330,000 Guatemalans will need food aid over the coming months, just to be able to subsist, according to a new United Nations study.
“It is a challenge for the country and the international community that we must confront,” UN World Food Programme representative Willem van Milink said yesterday of the small Central American nation, which has recently been swept by torrential rains, floods, deadly landslides and a volcanic eruption.
The study, carried out in August by the WFP, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) together with Government and non-governmental organizatio partners, found that 235,000 people need emergency food aid and a further 95,000, who are engaged in subsistence agriculture, require supplementary food aid.
Earlier this year Tropical Storm Agatha left a swath of destruction across the country, particularly in road communications, infrastructure, food security and livelihoods. The storm killed at least 179 people in Central America and left a massive sink hole in downtown Guatemala city swallowing up a three-story building. The crisis was compounded in Guatemala by the eruption of Pacaya volcano.