News Americas, GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, Thurs. April 21, 2011: Thousands of people in poor areas of Guatemala are facing a hunger crisis.
The government declared a nationwide “nutritional risk alert” this week, saying effects caused by climate change ranging from prolonged droughts to heavy rains have damaged the harvests of millions of poor farmers in the country’s interior leaving them vulnerable to hunger. The vulnerable include 5,000 children who suffer from acute malnutrition nationwide and another 10,000 who are “at risk” due to their lack of minimum nutrients.
“Financial resources will have to be sought from different sources, but the important thing is obtaining them by means of a tax reform,” a government spokesman said this week. He added that the government needs $40.5 million, of which it only has $5.8 million.
A study by the national Ombudsman’s office released last week said that up until March at least 808,137 cases of chronic malnutrition had been tallied on the national level.