Food security in Central America, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Haiti

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Dec 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic started a global inflationary trend that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has exacerbated, pushing up the international prices of energy supplies and basic foods of which the countries of Central America, Panama, the Dominican Republic (CAPARD), Mexico and Haiti depend. This scenario represents a risk to food security in the region. In 2022, the percentage of households with an income below the cost of the basic food basket is expected to increase by more than 5 percentage points compared to 2019, disproportionately affecting women, informal workers, and rural populations. To alleviate these effects, governments have reacted with policy responses that on average represent a fiscal cost of 1.1% of GDP. Recent projections point to a global scenario of low growth and persistent inflation, with food and energy prices still above pre-pandemic levels. This is in addition to other risks facing the region, particularly vulnerability to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. To tackle these challenges, short and long-term actions are required to guarantee access to and sustained supply of adequate quality food. This study, in addition to offering an overview of food security in the region, reports the policy responses of the countries, proposes short-term recommendations to manage a possible food emergency and outlines structural strategies to avoid future crises.