Guatemala food crisis – level 3

17-10-2023 15:00

Maria Concepcion Rodriguez, a mother of six in El Aguacate village, Guatemala, struggles to feed her family, often relying on neighbors when food runs out.

Her children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition, with her five-year-old son Juan Carlos standing at just 95 cm, well below the average height for his age. Guatemala has the highest rate of stunting in Latin America, with 44% of children outside the normal height-for-age range in 2022. Severe food shortages have affected up to 4.6 million people, coinciding with worsening climate extremes, political instability, and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The region faces intensifying drought and its impact on agriculture and food security due to climate change. The resulting crop damage has contributed to the migration of Guatemalans to the United States.

Hunger has become a concern, with a rise in cases of severe malnutrition among children, leading to an increased risk of child mortality. Climate change is recognized as a significant factor behind food shortages and migration in Guatemala.

Difficult words: stunted growth (when a person doesn’t grow or develop as much as he or she should), coincide (to occur at the same time), mortality (death).

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What are the most pressing strategies that governments in the region can implement to protect their citizens from food insecurity and its related risks?


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