Guatemala's Worst Droughts in 30 Years Causes Millions to Go Hungry

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 19 (UPI) — Guatemala’s worst drought in 30 years is affecting an estimated 2.5 million people, especially children and pregnant women, the United Nations said.

Drought conditions have been exacerbated by pest infestations, which have reduced the food supply, especially in the so-called dry corridor along the Pacific Ocean, U.N. officials said in a release Friday.

An estimated 30 percent of all pregnant women in the corridor are malnourished and 25 children have died in recent weeks, Guatemala’s Ministry of Health said.

The Guatemalan government needs $117 million in foreign aid to feed 54,000 families in the corridor and another 410,800 families elsewhere in the country, the United Nations said, noting food aid to tens of thousands of families will end this month unless more money is made available.

Nearly half of all Guatemalan children under age 5 suffer from stunting because of chronic malnutrition and the number of children being admitted to hospital for acute malnutrition has tripled in recent months, the United Nations said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

One Response to “Guatemala's Worst Droughts in 30 Years Causes Millions to Go Hungry”
  1. Lake Atitlan says:

    Although the rainy season has returned within the last week, it is probably too late to avoid widespread corn crop failures in the highlands, especially around Lake Atitlan. Corn is the staple food of millions of indigenous Maya.

    Poor agricultural planning by the government has left less than 10% of the agricultural land in the hands of the Maya, which means that they cannot feed themselves, even in good years. With the high price of corn on international markets, they cannot buy much either.

    Pray for rain!


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