An El Niño phenomenon, although weak, has developed since February affecting several Central American countries, in particular Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, known as the Dry Corridor. Below-average rainfall since mid-June in northern Nicaragua is decreasing water availability and will likely result in a poor Primera harvest in August. Abnormally dry conditions are decreasing livelihood opportunities and will drive food insecurity. The most affected areas in northern Nicaragua are projected to experience Stressed (IPC-2) food security outcomes until January 2020. The most vulnerable households are likely to face Crisis (IPC-3) outcomes and are likely to resort to negative coping strategies, including reduced food consumption and sale of productive assets. Needs are likely to include food assistance, livelihood support and WASH.
Protests against the reform of the social security system that began in April 2018 were instantly met by violent repression from Nicaraguan authorities, prompting a period of large-scale civil unrest characterised by protests, demonstrations, and strikes. Reports of violence, arbitrary detentions, harassment tactics, intimidation campaigns, and incidents of torture against opposition protesters and human rights defenders have increased and are likely to continue, with no political resolution in sight. The political crisis has led to economic turmoil and a severe economic recession, that is likely to continue in 2019, creating more unemployment and impacting service delivery in the long term. The arrival of an El Niño episode coupled with the economic recession will continue limiting food access and availability, with food security and rural livelihoods within the country likely to deteriorate further.
The Global risk analysis outlines 18 contexts where a significant deterioration is expected to occur within the next six to nine months, leading to a spike in humanitarian needs. This report comes as a result of ACAPS daily monitoring and independent analysis of the globe to support evidence-based decision-making in the humanitarian sector.
Considering the diversity and complexity of the crises, combined with the number of contexts included in the report, it has not been possible to cover each crisis in detail. Instead, we have highlighted the broad evolution of the crises to flag potential deteriorations and inform operational, strategic, and policy decision-makers.
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Northward population movement to Mexico and the US through South and Central America has steadily increased, with high numbers of migrants and asylum seekers registered across South and Central American countries in 2016. The increase in movement is driven by different phenomena, most prominently, the effects of gang violence in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Large numbers of migrants from Haiti and Cuba have also been observed, along with a smaller, yet significant number of displaced people from overseas countries such as Syria, Bangladesh, and Somalia.
500,000 people in the Central American “Dry Corridor”, covering El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, are estimated to be facing severe food insecurity, while around 1.3 million are facing moderate food insecurity. An El Niñorelated dry spell has resulted in significant crop losses during the primera season in all four affected countries for the second consecutive year, severely limiting food reserves in affected areas.