Based on current below-average harvest forecasts for 2014/2015 due to the erratic rainfall associated with El Niño events and with the continuing income effects of the coffee rust outbreak (which was widespread by June 2013), members of households of day laborers and small farmers in coffee-growing mountainous areas of El Salvador might face Stressed levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) through September. The harvest of Primera crops (in August/September) normally marks the end of the yearly lean season. However, with a 59 percent probability of the development of El Niño conditions over the three-month period from June through August, this year’s harvest is expected to be below-average.
In partnership with governments, WFP has implemented food security related assessments in El Salvador and other countries of the region to better understand the impact of the coffee rust on livelihoods. Assessments show that in Central America and the Caribbean food insecure households commonly rely on small-scale coffee farming or daily labor in the coffee or other sectors. In El Salvador, 60% of food insecure households are single-parent, mostly headed by a single woman. 38% of households live in isolated communities on coffee plantations, where livelihood alternatives are limited, and where access to markets is costly due to high transportation costs.