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A food security monitoring and early warning system for Guatemala

With the digital platform implemented in Guatemala decision makers will have more information about the real situation in the community in terms of food security and early warnings. Credit: Carlos Zaparolli / Acción Contra el Haambre

Supported by Bioversity International and CCAFS, the Guatemala Secretariat for Food and Nutrition Security implemented a digital platform to improve the management of and response to climate-related seasonal hunger at local scale.

Although seasonal hunger is a recurring and well-known problem that affects subsistence farm families in Guatemala, the response to these cyclical crises is often late, uncoordinated and reactive. The situation is also exacerbated by climate variability, which is increasing the occurrence and duration of mid-summer droughts during the rainy season.

To act quickly and efficiently, decision-makers need timely and precise information on the communities at risk. This is why the Guatemala Secretariat for Food and Nutrition Security (SESAN) has recently started the nation-wide implementation of a food security monitoring and early warning system. The system was developed together with researchers from Bioversity International and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security-CCAFS, and food security and climate risk management specialists from Action Against Hunger (ACH) under the AgroClimate project.

The tailored digital platform will support data collection, analysis and dissemination in all 340 municipalities in Guatemala to improve the management of and response to climate-related seasonal hunger at local scale.

In August 2018, SESAN together with Bioversity International, ACH, CATIE and Nexos Locales/USAID, started a capacity building process for all municipal extension officers that will use the system. The extension officers learned about the platform and its integration into the municipal food security governance mechanisms. The implementation of the digital platform for food security monitoring and early warning is an important political step that promotes the shift from reactive crisis response towards proactive climate risk and food security management.

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This is a summary of the article 'Guatemala implements a food security monitoring and early warning system supported by Bioversity and CCAFS' by Bioversity International scientist Anna Muller, published on the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) website

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