Food insecurity was identified as the single biggest factor driving the immigration crisis in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, also referred to as “The Northern Triangle” region, according to a new report published by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
“Migration has always been linked to income disparities between countries, socio-economic instability, and population pressures; however, this is the first time food insecurity has been specifically singled out as a trigger for migration,” said WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel Barreto.
A prolonged dry spell that struck the region in 2014 has further deteriorated the food security of over 1 million of people in the three countries. Last year, a significant percentage of households affected by the drought reported at least one family member migrating in search of a job, according to the study.
The joint publication by the IOM and WFP highlighted a combination of factors including hunger, along with high levels of crime and gang violence, as the primary causes behind the region’s migration crisis.
Movement within and out of these countries has become an important emergency strategy adopted by the population to cope with the dire economic and security situations, the report added.
Tens of thousands of people from the region have already left over the past few years, trying to enter the United States in search of stability and opportunity.
In response, the United States along with the three Central American countries announced the launch of the “Alliance for Prosperity” plan, which aims to address security and governance challenges in order to curb the growing humanitarian and immigration crises.
This content was originally published by teleSUR at http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Hunger-Drives-Migration-in-Central-America-Says-New-Study–20150917-0035.html.