Key facts:

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Volcanic Ash | Tropical storms | Droughts

Anticipation partners in country    

Guatemala Red Cross Society | German Red Cross | Red Cross and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre | National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrología – INSIVUMEH) | Executive Ministry of the National Coordinator of Disaster Reduction (CONRED) | FAO | START Network: Care International & Trocaire

Inform Risk Index    

Hazard and Exposure: 5.6

Vulnerability: 5.6

Lack of Coping Capacity: 5.3

Total: 5.5 (high risk)

Rank: 28


Photo by Maynor Mijangos / Guatemalan Red Cross

Country Profile

Guatemala is a low-middle income country with a tropical climate and ecological zones ranging from tropical forests to cool highlands and a dry eastern corridor. Fifty-nine percent of the population lives in poverty and the country has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America (and six-highest rate in the world).

Because of a combination of climatological, topographical, and socio-economic factors, the population is exposed to drought, flooding, landslides, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. These events have widespread impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods as well as infrastructure and other economic activity. For example, drought associated with the 2015-2016 El Niño, led to the country’s worst drought in several 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 which is practiced on hillsides, increasing the risk from landslides and flooding. Hurricanes such as Mitch (1998), Stan (2005), and Eta (2020) bring heavy rains and winds that kill hundreds of people, flood homes, and trigger landslides that sweep away entire communities. In 2010, Pacaya Volcano erupted raining ash on Guatemala City, compromising human health, destroying crops, and contaminating water systems.



Strengthening FbF Readiness and Disaster Preparedness in Guatemala

Since 2019 the Guatemalan Red Cross Society has been developing protocols for volcanic ash, tropical storms, and droughts. The project seeks to provide extensive support to the National Society in further developing the Preparedness and Response system.


In June 2020 START Network awarded £415,000 to Care International, Trocaire for anticipatory actions before a hurricane (alert 436).  

FAO is supporting early action for drought in Guatemala.