Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Guatemala

February24, 2017

Food Security Situation  

Guatemala map
CIA World Factbook
  • Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Almost 50 percent of children under five are stunted due to lack of access to nutritious foods,  this figure is much higher in certain parts of the country, such as the Western Highlands. 

  • The 2015/2016 El Niño phenomenon led to one of the worst droughts in 35 years in Central America, compounding below average rainfall in the dry corridor since 2014. Guatemala in particular has suffered from consecutive poor harvests, which have led to limited agricultural production, lost labor opportunities and reduced household incomes, exacerbating food insecurity among already vulnerable households. 
  • In addition to drought, coffee rust—a fungus that withers the plant—continues to impact food security outcomes in areas heavily dependent on coffee-production, including much of the western and eastern Dry Corridor. Coffee rust leads to low yields, negatively affecting income and labor opportunities.
  • According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), many vulnerable households in the Western Highlands and throughout the Dry Corridor of Guatemala are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity due to irregular and low rainfalls that resulted in poor crop production and reduced food reserves. FEWS NET projects food insecurity in these areas to worsen to Crisis levels between February-May 2017 as households cope with food shortages.

Food Assistance Programs

  • In response to the drought crisis, the Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to vulnerable households throughout the Dry Corridor. This assistance aims to reduce food and nutrition insecurity and mitigate impacts of the drought. FFP is providing assistance in the form of general food distributions, cash transfers, food vouchers and food-for-asset activities including soil and water conservation projects.
  • FFP partners with two non-governmental organizations, Project Concern International and Catholic Relief Services, to provide emergency food assistance to more than 15,800 people in the Western Highlands and approximately 30,000 people in the Dry Corridor. These programs provide food distributions, food vouchers and cash transfers, and nutrition activities to address urgent food needs.
  • FFP also partners with Catholic Relief Services and Save the Children on a variety of development activities. These multi-year programs work with the most vulnerable populations to address chronic malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women, improve and diversify agricultural production, create micro-enterprise opportunities, and improve access to water and sanitation.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $27.4 million 1,030 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $19.0 million 5,880 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $19.7 million 4,560 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $21.9 million 10,540 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $14.2 million 10,870 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development $5.4 million 70 MT
Community Development Funds (CDF) $10 million ----
Title II Emergency $1.3 million 960 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $10.7 million ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by FEWS NET and WFP

FY 2016 contribution on funds provided to date


Additional Information

Country Specific Guidance

Last updated: February 27, 2017

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