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Food insecurity hits northern regions hardest

Food insecurity hits northern regions hardest

The food insecurity during 2022 it affected about 258 million people in 58 countries around the world. The figure is almost 38% more than that registered in the previous year when it reached around 192 million people, according to the latest Global Report on Food Crises 2023 (GRFC) prepared by the World Bank.

This number includes 56.8 million people affected by extreme weather events, 83.9 million by economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and war; as well as 117 million victims of conflicts and insecurity.

The crisis in the region

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the food crisis reached 7.8 million people in 8 countries where the multilateral organization was able to obtain information.

The most affected country was Haiti, where 48% of its population is food insecure, followed by Honduras and Guatemala with 26% and 28% of its inhabitants in this condition.

In the case of Peru, the report indicates that the data did not meet the GRFC requirements, so the number of people affected by the crisis is not recorded.

However the world Bankin another report, called Update on Food Security, corresponding to this month, warns that, in March 2023, Peru encountered the onset of the El Niño Costero phenomenon, which, together with Cyclone Yaku, produced heavy rains and flooding, and caused an estimated 517,000 people to need assistance, according to the National Humanitarian Network.

In this sense, it estimates that the natural disasters would have affected approximately 92,000 homes and damaged the main infrastructures and communication routes.

  Attendance.  Floods and Cyclone Yaku had a strong impact on the northern regions.  Photo: diffusion

Attendance. Floods and Cyclone Yaku had a strong impact on the northern regions. Photo: diffusion

However, it considers food security to be “the most pressing need, particularly in rural areas and urban peripheries.”

In addition, it highlights that, according to a recent evaluation by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the rains and floods have seriously affected peasant families in rural areas, with more than 38,000 hectares of crops damaged and 22,000 lost hectares.

“The livelihoods of these people are deteriorating, which leads to distressing damage to their diet,” he warns.

It also points out that, even before the climate emergency, 55% of the population in the departments of Lambayeque, Piura and Tumbes lived in a situation of moderate to severe food insecurity.

structural problem

The high number of people in a situation of food insecurity in these northern regions of the country is due to the fact that these areas, although they have economic dynamism, also register deficiencies in services and nutritional deficiencies, says Laureano del Castillo, executive director of the Peruvian Center of Social Studies (Cepes).

“These are areas that produce even for export, but there are inequalities that statistics often cover up,” he points out.

In addition, it mentions that food insecurity in the Peru it has always existed. “Our country has a significant proportion of the population that lives in structural and systematic food insecurity,” he points out.

In this sense, he mentions that this situation has been aggravated by factors such as the crisis derived from political instability and the international crisis due to the war in Ukraine. He also indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic and the variations in international prices of products such as wheat, corn, fuel and urea have had an influence.

  Impact.  The climatic crisis delays the maturation of fruits.  Photo: diffusion

Impact. The climatic crisis delays the maturation of fruits. Photo: diffusion

How to deal with the crisis

The climate crisis affects crop production cycles, either slowing down or speeding up processes such as flowering or production.

For this reason, one way to deal with these phenomena is advising farmers to sow alternative transitory crops and related to weather conditions, recommends Lorenzo del Castillo, manager of the National Coffee Board (JNC).

For his part, the representative of Cepes complements that in this scenario the role of regional and local governments is decisive.

In addition, he adds that agricultural activity must be made more profitable through the promotion of associativity in organizations such as committees, associations and cooperatives. As well as through training in crucial issues such as water management.

Likewise, both specialists agree that financial support is of vital importance. “The credits that farmers had have to be rescheduled, interest forgiven, and if possible, producers with less than 10 hectares should be forgiven (the debt),” the JNC spokesperson stressed.

Meanwhile, Franklin Suárez, a specialist from Midagri’s General Directorate of Agriculture and Agroecology, highlights that the portfolio, within the framework of the Con Punche Peru plan, has allocated S/800 million to improve water infrastructure such as canals and gates, mainly aimed at family farming.

Finally, he adds that various departments of the ministry are drawing up action plans that will be associated to an increase or optimization of the sector’s budget item.

Measures to promote agriculture

In February of this year, the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation launched Con Punche Agro, a package of measures worth S/1,070 million to reactivate the sector.

To date, the execution of 21,666 canal cleaning and clearing activities (S/268.4 million) has been approved.

Technical assistance was provided to 9 regions, prioritizing those declared in a state of emergency (Piura, Tumbes, Lambayeque and La Libertad).

Finally, through the Recupérate Ya program, 205,000 producers have been served nationwide, equivalent to 332,000 hectares of crops.

Producers from 408 districts received a subsidy of S/800 per hectare as a way to recover their economy affected by the climate crisis.

The data

Extreme weather events were the main drivers of acute food insecurity in 12 countries around the world.


Laureano del Castillo, executive director of Cepes

“There is an enormous task for subnational governments to promote agriculture. For this, it has to be provided with professionals and adequate equipment to carry out their functions”.

Lorenzo Castillo, manager of the JNC

“The Catastrophic Agrarian Insurance has a limited number of producers. In addition, it has a limitation of covering up to S/800 per hectare. As it is designed, it is not a way to face the crisis”.

Source: Larepublica

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