Erratic Weather Patterns in the Central American Dry Corridor Leave 1.4 Million People in Urgent Need of Food Assistance
By the numbers:
- Population: 6 million
- 30 percent of people live in poverty
- 17 percent of children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, and although nearly 70 percent of the population engages in agriculture, the country doesn’t produce enough food to feed its citizens. Eight percent of Nicaraguans live in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day. Economic opportunities are worse in rural areas, where 50 percent of the population is poor and 11.5 percent live in extreme poverty.
Nicaragua is vulnerable to recurrent natural disasters such as droughts, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes – all of which impede progress in addressing poverty and food insecurity.
WFP has been present in Nicaragua since 1971. Today, WFP supports the Government of Nicaragua’s Zero Hunger Program by strengthening social safety nets, addressing the prevention of chronic malnutrition and improving the food security of small-scale farmers:
Nutrition – Through Mother-and-Child health activities, WFP provides nutritional support to vulnerable groups in communities with high levels of chronic malnutrition. Children at the pre-school and primary-school levels receive hot, nutritious meals through the National School Meal Program – one of the largest social safety nets in the country, supported by WFP.
Supporting local farmers – WFP supports sustainable development by improving the income of small-scale farmers, connecting them to local markets by leveraging WFP’s food demand and developing farmers’ agricultural production capacity and quality.
Long-term solutions – WFP helps families to develop more sustainable livelihoods through resilience-building activities such as Food for Assets and Food for Training (FFA/FFT). WFP also supports the Government with nutrition, education, school gardens, technical assistance and infrastructure improvement, as well as strengthening community organizations.