El Salvador , Honduras , Mexico and Guatemala

UN calls for action against drought in CentAm Dry Corridor

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, July 05, 2016
UN calls for action against drought in CentAm Dry Corridor

The United Nations (UN) has called on the international community and governments to take action to reduce the effects of El Niño in the Dry Corridor of Central America, which particularly affects El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

These actions are "essential to help build resilience, food security and restore livelihoods damaged by drought and other extreme-weather effects of El Niño," the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a release in the wake of last week's meeting of UN agencies and other partners at the Rome headquarters of the organization.

Common challenges in the Dry Corridor include adaptation of the production systems of small-scale family farmers to climate change; and expanding efforts to reduce poverty, inequality and the socioeconomic and environmental vulnerability of the region.

"The devastating El Niño event that began in 2015 was one of the worst on record and its impact continues to be felt in the Dry Corridor, compounding the damage from two consecutive years of drought," the FAO stated.

As a result, around 3.5mn people require humanitarian assistance, with 1.6mn people suffering moderate or severe food insecurity in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

"We need to change the traditional response strategy and tackle the structural causes of poverty and food insecurity in Central America's Dry Corridor, and not settle for simply mounting a humanitarian response every time an emergency situation occurs," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

"We need to a focus on resilience, inclusive sustainable development, and climate change adaptation," he added.

"It is crucial to respond to the immediate needs of people suffering as a result of El Niño. But we also need to acknowledge that climate change will continue to exacerbate these extreme weather events. The only way to ensure future food security in the region is to invest in long-term development to help people be more resilient to shocks so that they can continue to feed their families," said International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President Kanayo F. Nwanze.

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