Central America’s Crisis: Food Security and Adequate Housing Among People’s Vital Unmet Needs, IRC Report – El Salvador

NEW YORK, NY, September 5, 2022 — Thousands of Central Americans face humanitarian crises such as food insecurity, violence and displacement. The International Relief Commission (IRC) warns that covering people’s most basic needs remains a challenge and calls on the international community to allocate funds for a comprehensive response.

The IRC analyzed data collected from the Emergency Cash Relief Program in the first half of 2022. The program has reached more than 3,000 people in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Based on information shared by participants, IRC found that the main challenges for participants were:

  • Inability to pay for basic necessities such as food. Before receiving emergency cash assistance, 97% reported not having the funds to fully pay for the supplies, utilities, or services needed to ensure long-term survival and a minimum standard of living. . Basic needs include but are not limited to adequate food, clean water, health care and education.

  • Forced to adopt negative coping strategies. Not having enough income meant that 50% of people adopted coping strategies that reduced future productivity in order to meet immediate food security needs. A good proportion (40%) of those surveyed reported relying on “crisis” coping strategies. This meant that you were forced to sell any productive assets you may have owned. their land.

  • Suffering from hunger and inadequate nutrition. On average, 44% of family members reported that he ate two or fewer meals a day before receiving financial assistance. Based on food consumption scores, her one in four households was determined to be a low food consumer. This meant that household members could not eat at least staple foods (corn, rice, plantain, etc.) and vegetables every day.

  • There is no safe and decent housing. Despite emergency assistance, 29% of families reported not living in a safe and peaceful place. In fact, 40% said they don’t have enough space, considering factors such as warmth, fresh air and protection against extreme weather conditions.

Meg Garas, Director of North and Central America at the International Rescue Commission (IRC) said:

“People in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras continue to face challenges such as economic conditions that make it difficult to meet their most basic needs. , certain groups are at higher risk and face more obstacles to living safely: for example, 1 in 4 surveyed families who needed urgent cash assistance are indigenous people I identified myself as part of the group.

“When we talk about humanitarian emergencies and countries in Central America, we must remember that the crisis occurred thousands of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. People urgently need food and shelter assistance.Working with all sectors and with support from the international community, we can all help people survive, recover and rebuild their lives at home. We must design and implement an expanded response to help

The data were obtained after analyzing information provided by people before and after participating in the Emergency Cash Relief Program conducted by IRC and funded by USAID’s Humanitarian Assistance Office (BHA). Through this program, the IRC provided assistance to families at risk in northern Central America to cover their immediate needs, including food, shelter and medical care.

IRC Response in Northern Central America

Today, the IRC serves individuals and families at high risk of violence and displacement, including internally displaced persons, returnees, women, girls, youth, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who are survivors of gender-based violence. increase. IRC’s programs in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras include multipurpose cash transfers to meet basic needs. Creating safe spaces for women, youth and the LGBTQ+ community. Case management and psychosocial support. Information platform Cuénta Nos.

media contacts

Everardo Esquivel
International Rescue Committee
[email protected]

Kelly Ryan
International Rescue Committee
[email protected]

IRC Global Communications
+1 646 761 0307
[email protected]

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