Severe heatwave forces government to deliver food to 170,000 families affected in Guatemala
The Guatemalan government will distribute 4,000 tons of food to approximately 170,000 families affected by a recent heatwave in the Central American country.
Guatemalan Agriculture Minister Elmer Lopez said in a press conference Monday that the assistance program, worth $63 million, will begin on Oct. 1 and will continue for six months.
The announcement came following the weekly meeting of Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and his cabinet.
The government will provide each family with 220 pounds of maize, 30 pounds of beans, and an additional 17 pounds of flour to those having a child below the age of five.
The heatwave that has hit the country in recent weeks, especially in the west, has affected the harvests of 170,000 families, according to official figures.
Worst-affected are the departments that fall under “the dry corridor,” including Jalapa, Jutiapa, Zacapa and El Progreso, in the eastern part of the country.
The 4,000 tons of food material for distribution will come from the Guatemalan and World Food Program (WFP) reserves.
Fifty-three percent of Guatemala’s 15 million inhabitants live in poverty, and one in every six people lives in extreme poverty, according to official figures.