Environmental, Food, Land Insecurity Critical Factors Leading To Migration

Foreign Policy: The Hungry Caravan
Helena Silva-Nichols, Stanford in Government fellow at Landesa

“In the United States, most discussions about the thousands of people who have fled their homes in Central America in recent months have focused on the violence that has forced them to flee. But there’s another reason people are leaving the region in droves: food insecurity. … The drought, which began in 2014, is the worst to hit Latin America’s dry corridor — a stretch of land that runs from southern Mexico down to Panama — in decades. … As a result, United Nations officials warned in September, more than two million people are at risk of going hungry. … Given the magnitude of poverty and hunger in the dry corridor … it is easy to understand why so many risk the treacherous journey across several conflict-ridden countries to escape. … If the environmental factors that push migrants to leave their homes are underreported, the solutions to this problem are even less discussed. … Without the security and stability that come with more equitable land distribution, smallholder farmers and communities will remain poor. … For now, those living there are left with two alternatives: stay and starve, or leave in hopes of starting over somewhere else. If Americans truly wish to confront the growing humanitarian crisis at their border, then Central America’s land problems can no longer be ignored” (11/6).