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Food crisis reiterated for 2024 in El Salvador

San Salvador, Apr 9 (Prensa Latina) The Roundtable for Food Sovereignty in El Salvador reiterated that the country is facing a food crisis after the losses in the 2023-2024 agricultural cycle.

Adalberto Blanco, members of that organization, rejected the latest statements by Diego Recalde, representative of the United Nations for Food and Agriculture (FAO), who denied that in El Salvador “there were a food crisis.”

Recalde stated on Friday, April 5, that “I do not see a food crisis at this moment, the country is prepared to be able to meet any need.”

Meanwhile, the activist pointed out that the FAO representative is contradicting himself with the reports presented by the United Nations System (UN).

For example, he said, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), responsible for mobilizing and coordinating the response of humanitarian actors to emergencies, assured that by 2024 in the country at least 942 thousand people from February to May 2024 would need food relief.

Blanco quoted the World Report on Food Crises 2023, where during 2022 El Salvador had 52 percent of its population in a phase of “food stress”, equivalent to 3.3 million people, while 13 percent are in a phase of “food crisis” (823 thousand people), and one percent in the “food emergency” phase (63 thousand people).

To this he added the situation that the majority of households face with the Basic Food Basket, which registered an “incessant” increase in El Salvador between 2019-2023. Commenting that in the urban area it went from 200.02 to 252.4 dollars in its annual average (26.19 percent more); while in the rural area it went from 144.48 to 189.43 dollars (31.11 percent more) in the same period.

The Roundtable for Food Sovereignty, in its regular controls, recorded that there are fewer people active in the countryside and fewer apples grown in corn and beans.

Among other examples, they highlight that El Salvador produced 429 thousand quintals (42,900 tons) of vegetables less in the 2022-2023 cycle, to accentuate the population’s nutritional deficiencies and increase prices.

On the other hand, spokespersons for the group indicated that climate change is pushing for a reduction in production, a situation to which is added the rising cost of land and the increase in the cost of labor.