While historically the area receives very little rain and is particularly susceptible to droughts, the last few years have been especially harsh, culminating in the El Nino weather phenomenon in 2018, which resulted in a massive loss of the staple crops that families grow to eat.
The impact of the El Nino was confirmed in a food security assessment which Oxfam and partners conducted in 2018. At that time, it was estimated that 550,000 people across the Dry Corridor needed food support. That number now stands at 1.3 million.
Families are now forced to buy the foods they normally grow, but have limited opportunities to earn or borrow money. Seasonal labouring work on larger commercial farms and coffee plantations has become scarce. Taking out˛high interest loans only puts them further in debt.
As a result, many farmers resort to selling the only assets they have — their tools, livestock and even their land — just so they can put food on the table. Yet when the food runs out they have no further means to buy or grow more.
Together, we can provide immediate and longer term support for families facing an unprecedented food crisis.
We can provide access to emergency nutrition to help children facing chronic malnutrition that significantly impacts their health, education and long-term futures.
We can provide immediate financial assistance to the most hard-hit families so they can afford their most basic needs, without having to sell the animals or tools they rely on for farming.
We can help families grow a healthy harvest by providing drought-resistant seeds and teaching them new ways to save water and grow crops during the climate emergency.
All photos: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam Intermón
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