Central America Drought and Equal Exchange: Compassion in Action

Central America Drought Response

A drought associated with the "El Niño" phenomenon has caused severe impacts in Central America, where it has damaged a large part of the corn and bean crops. In El Salvador the government has declared a national state of emergency due to losses of up to 30% of the annual corn harvest and 90% of the annual bean crop. In Honduras, the government has declared a state of emergency in the dry corridor, where 76,712 families are badly affected by the drought. In Nicaragua, Estelí, Madríz, Chinandega, and Nueva Segovia are the most affected districts, nearly 75% of the corn crop has been lost. An estimated 100,000 families are most affected.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network calculates that losses in subsistence agriculture in the affected areas of the region reach up to 70%, causing severe difficulties in access to agriculture inputs and food for subsistence farmers. It is forecasted that the drought will keep the rain patterns at very low levels until the end of the year, thereby affecting the second harvest of basic grains. This aggravates food insecurity for the region.

Week of Compassion, with our partner ACT Alliance, is responding to this drought situation in Central America by ensuring that families affected have access to food and water and are able to recover from the drought.  Specifically, food kits are being provided to 3,450 families who are affected, 960 families are receiving water, and 2,030 families are having access to enhanced food-production.  Week of Compassion will continue to monitor and assess the situation with our partners.

Through your giving we can work together to provide enough for all in these areas of Central America and around the world.

Equal Exchange

Climate change is an issue that weighs on the minds of coffee farmersand coffee drinkers alike. Unpredictable weather patterns, natural disasters and opportunistic plant diseases (like La Roya, or coffee leaf rusthave all done considerable damageto coffee farms in recent years. Substantial crop losses and the resulting drastic drops in income have caused some farmers to consider giving up on coffee farming altogether.

But many farmers are determined to find solutions and work toward resilience and recovery. You can help! Equal Exchange is teaming up with our farmer partners to support innovation and sustainable problem solving. Join us by taking the Red Cherry Challenge, and every pound of coffee you buy this year (June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2015) will contribute 10 cents to the Red Cherry Fund. 

To find out how your congregation can get involved in the buying and selling of Fairtrade coffee, chocolate and other Equal Exchange products so that we can continue to work against food insecurity, climate change and agriculture diseases click here.

This Week’s Responses:

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Virginia, Refugee Assistance
Texas, Storm Damage
Central America, Drought Relief

Development and Long-Term Recovery and Rehabilitation
China, Water Access