Guatemala declared a state of emergency on Monday due to one of the worst droughts the country has experienced, according to IB Times.
President Otto Perez Molina stated that 16 out of 22 provinces, mainly in western and central Guatemala, have been affected, according to the Associated Press.
"At a cabinet meeting this Monday, we signed a governmental decree that declares a State of Calamity in 17 departments as a result of the effects on agriculture of the prolonged drought," Molina said in a tweet. He then later changed the number to 16 provinces.
But Molina's call to action will first have to be approved by legislature before emergency assistance and humanitarian aid will be authorized, according to IB Times.
The drought has negatively affected locally grown agriculture such as corn and beans, and can make Guatemala lose "millions of dollars in agricultural losses." The deaths of hundreds of Guatemala's cattle can leave thousands of families without food, AP reported.
There are about 236,000 families in the 16 provinces, most of which rely on agriculture, said Guatemala's agriculture minister Elmer Lopez.
Lopez said the country would need almost $60 million to replenish the food shortage the country is currently facing, Xinhua reported. Lopez also said an emergency plan should be instituted by October.
Guatemala, which has a rainy season from May to October, hasn't experienced rain since the beginning of June, according to Xinhua.