WFP: 1.4m people need food aid in Central America

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Five years of poor harvests in several Central American countries have left 1.4 million people struggling to feed themselves, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

This now make some families see migration as their only remaining option.

In Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, long dry spells and excessive rains have been destroying maize and bean crops, the UN agency reported on Friday in Geneva.

Maize and Bean are the main staple of subsistence farmers in the region, the UN agency said.

In a survey conducted by the WFP and government agencies in the affected countries, eight per cent of families indicated that they would leave their homes and search for more stable livelihoods within their country or abroad.

“Migration, though, is not a solution,’’ WFP spokesman, Herve Verhoosel, said, pointing out that the people, who stay behind will continue to suffer.

The WFP appealed for 72 million dollars from donor countries to help the region fund food aid.

Those donations would cover 700,000 people.

In addition, longer-term resilience programmes are needed so that farming communities can withstand prolonged poor harvests, Verhoosel said.

The weather and harvest situation in the so-called Dry Corridor that runs from southern Mexico to Panama was very much linked to climate change, the spokesman said.