Central America: UN agency brings emergency aid to drought-affected farmers
The agency said in a statement that this summer's drought had worsened the already precarious food situation in rural Central America. In Nicaragua, some 45,000 farmers from the departments of Leon and Chinandega have reportedly lost more than 50 per cent of their crops. FAO has started the distribution of maize and sorghum seeds and fertilizers to enable 10,000 families to prepare for next season's crop.
At the same time, a similar emergency project implemented in El Salvador is supporting 6,000 drought-affected families in the Eastern and Central regions. In Guatemala, FAO will assess the consequences of the drought on the agricultural sector to identify the need for relief and rehabilitation projects.
The food situation in Central America is critical especially after Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, a dry spell in 2000 and several earthquakes earlier this year. El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala are the most seriously affected countries. Costa Rica and Panama have also suffered the impact of the crisis to a lesser extent, FAO said.