Latin America & Caribbean

Honduras drought puts thousands 'at risk' of hunger

A drought-stricken corn stalk in the village of Orocuina, Honduras, August 28, 2014. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Crops are failing in the drought which is affecting parts of Central America

More than half a million people in Honduras have been affected by a severe drought, the Red Cross has said.

It said the most vulnerable families were in danger of hunger because of the loss of crops, higher food prices and lower incomes for farmers.

The Red Cross said some families were selling their belongings and livestock to survive, while others were leaving their homes to escape the drought.

It launched an appeal for $1.28m (£800,000) to assist 17,500 people.

In a statement, it said 3,500 families were "experiencing food insecurity due to their loss of livelihoods and restricted access to food and water sources".

It added that children and poor households were particularly vulnerable, "a concerning fact given the levels of chronic malnutrition in Honduras are 22.6% [of roughly 8.5 million people], and considering that 42.5% of Hondurans live in extreme poverty".

Oscar Fernandez, Disaster Management Co-ordinator of the Honduras Red Cross, said they would be working "to facilitate access to food and water and hygiene, as well as improve nutrition and recover the basic production capacities of those affected by the drought".

Honduras is already reeling after a deadly fungus devastated output of coffee, the main cash crop.

The drought has also affected tens of thousands of farmers in neighbouring Guatemala and El Salvador.

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