Guatemala

Key facts

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Drought Volcanic ash | Tropical storms

Anticipation partners in country    

Guatemalan Red Cross | German Red Cross | Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre | National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrología) | Executive Ministry of the National Coordinator of Disaster Reduction | FAO | Start Network | Care International | Trócaire

Inform Risk Index (2022)   

Hazard and exposure: 4.8

Vulnerability: 5.7

Lack of coping capacity: 5.4

Total: 5.3 (high)

Rank: 35

 

Photo: Maynor Mijangos / Guatemalan Red Cross

Country profile

Guatemala has a tropical climate, with ecological zones ranging from tropical forests to cool highlands, as well as a dry eastern corridor. It is a lower middle-income country, and 59 per cent of the population lives in poverty. It has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America and the sixth highest rate in the world.

The country is exposed to drought, flooding, landslides, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. As a result of the climatological, topographical and socio-economic factors mentioned, these events often have severe impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as on the country's infrastructure and economic activity. For example:

  • The 2015/16 El Niño caused the country’s worst drought in decades, resulting in widespread crop failure and food insecurity, particularly among indigenous communities. 
  • One third of the population depends on agriculture or other natural resources for their livelihoods. Much of this is practiced on hillsides, increasing the risk of disruptions from landslides and flooding.
  • Hurricanes such as Mitch (1998), Stan (2005) and Eta (2020) brought heavy rains and winds that killed hundreds of people, flooded homes and triggered landslides that sweep away entire communities.
  • In 2010, the Pacaya volcano erupted, raining ash on Guatemala City. This affected people's health, destroyed crops and contaminated water systems.

Projects

Strengthening FbF readiness and disaster preparedness in Guatemala

Since 2019, the Guatemalan Red Cross has been developing Early Action Protocols for volcanic ash, tropical storms and drought. The project also provides extensive support to the National Society in further developing its preparedness and response system.

In June 2020 the Start Network awarded £415,000 to Care International and Trócaire for anticipatory action before a hurricane (alert 436).  

FAO is supporting early action for drought in Guatemala.

Project Page August 10, 2022

Health, WASH

Strengthening FbF readiness and disaster preparedness in Guatemala

The Guatemalan Red Cross Society has been developing protocols since 2019 for volcanic ash, tropical storms, and droughts. To promote institutional preparedness for the development of early actions …

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News May 23, 2023

Emerging Topics, Scaling up

Cruz Roja promoverá acciones anticipatorias ante flujos de movilidad humana en Centroamérica y México

Las Sociedades Nacionales se reunieron del 10 al 13 de mayo en Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Participaron más de 40 especialistas representando 6 Sociedades Nacionales.

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News May 23, 2023

Emerging Topics, Scaling up

The Red Cross promotes anticipatory action for migration in Central America and Mexico

At an event to discuss anticipatory action for migration, more than 40 specialists discussed how this approach can provide humanitarian assistance to, and protection for, migrants.

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News May 10, 2023

Scaling up, WASH

Sociedades Nacionales de la Cruz Roja anuncian el lanzamiento del WaSH Hub en Centroamérica

Más de 40 representantes de países centroamericanos participaron en el lanzamiento del nuevo WaSH Hub en Centroamérica, celebrado en Ciudad de Guatemala en abril.

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News May 10, 2023

Scaling up, WASH

National Red Cross Societies announce the launch of the WaSH Hub in Central America

More than 40 representatives from Central American countries took part in the launch of the new regional WaSH Hub, held in Guatemala City in April.

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Blog January 18, 2023

Dialogue Platform, Future leaders

Perspectivas de la Red de Líderes del Futuro: 4ª Plataforma de Diálogo Regional en América Latina y el Caribe sobre Acción Anticipada

La 4ª Plataforma de Diálogo Regional de América Latina y el Caribe exploró el tema "Ampliación e integración en los sistemas de gestión del riesgo de desastres". En este blog, dos miembros de la Red …

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Blog January 18, 2023

Dialogue Platform, Future leaders

The 4th Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Dialogue Platform: insights from the Future Leaders Network

The 4th Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Dialogue Platform explored the theme ‘Scaling up and integration in disaster risk management systems’. In this blog, two members of the Future …

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News October 11, 2022

Early Action

Se activan los Planes de Acción Temprana en Guatemala y Honduras ante el impacto de la Tormenta Tropical Julia en comunidades vulnerables

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News October 10, 2022

Early Action

Early Action Protocols activated in Guatemala and Honduras as hurricane Julia hits Central America

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News September 06, 2022

Early Action, Scaling up

A new EAP for Floods associated with Tropical Cyclones will benefit up to 15,000 people in Guatemala

The IFRC has approved a new EAP for Floods associated with Tropical Cyclones in Guatemala, which will help the country to act ahead of this oft-occurring hazard.

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News January 12, 2022

Lessons Learnt

A year of success in Latin America and the Caribbean

Anticipatory action made some huge steps forward in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2021. A new publication from the FbF LAC program captures some of these many highlights.

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