GENEVA (AP) — The World Food Program says it's planning to nearly quadruple the number of people that the U.N. agency helps in four central American countries affected by drought, seen as one of the drivers of migration through the region.

WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel says the agency aims to provide food assistance to 700,000 people in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua — up from 160,000 helped already this year.

Five years of drought have affected more than 2 million people and increased food insecurity of subsistence farmers and their families.

Governments as well as WFP and the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization recently reported that 8 percent of families indicated that they would resort to migration.

"Migration is not a solution," Verhoosel said Friday, but "longer-term food security systems" are.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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