More on Nicaragua

What are the current issues in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is classified by the World Bank (WB) as the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean. The gross national income (GNI) per capita is US$ 1,100 (2010). 48% of the population lives on less than a US$1 a day and 76% on less US$2 daily.

Nicaragua is a low-income food deficit country, ranked 115 out of 169 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) from 2010.

According to the statement from the National Survey of Demographic and Health (ENDESA 2006-2007), 23% of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic undernutrition and the highest rates of 28% to 38% are stated in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Matagalpa, Madriz, Jinotega and North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN).

FAO estimates 19% of the population is undernourished (2007). Food consumption patterns in Nicaragua have changed due to economic constraints. Nicaraguan families have reduced their meat and dairy consumption, invested less on health and education and in some cases removed their children from school.

WFP studies have shown that stunting among children under the age of 3 in WFP targeted areas is higher than the national average, estimated at 30%.

This country is still a prey of recurrent natural disasters, such as droughts, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. That is why 2% of the infrastructure is considered vulnerable, since the capital is crisscrossed by 18 seismic faults.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Nicaragua

WFP assists the Government of Nicaragua to strengthen its National Development Programme by supporting health, education and agricultural activities in food insecure households. WFP assistance is implemented through a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) and the Country Programme (2008 - 2012), which support food-insecure municipalities located in the central-north and in the RAAN.

PRRO supports vulnerable and malnourished groups at risk and affected by recurrent natural disasters. Pregnant and lactating women and children under three are improving their nutritional status through Supplementary Feeding and families are building more sustainable livelihoods through food-for-assets and food–for-training activities (FFA/FFT).

Through its Country Programme, WFP provides food assistance to children from 7-36 months and pregnant and lactating women through Mother and Child Health; assists pre and primary school children with hot nutritious meals through the School Meal Programme and enhances livelihood activities through asset creation by supporting poor rural families participating in food-for-assets and food-for-training activities.

Regional Micronutrients and Nutrition Initiatives allowed WFP to provide capacity building and technical assistance to the Government. This initiative promotes workshops on health, breastfeeding, nutrition, gender and hygiene.

WFP in coordination with the Government and other partners are supporting Purchase for Progress (P4P) activities reaching 2,315 smallholders’ through 11 farmer organizations. P4P's activities aims to increase crop yields, improve product quality and increase smallholder farmers' revenue and income. Long-term sustainability will be achieved by strengthening the capacities of farmer organizations and smallholders’ to access larger markets and by improving the quality of crops through improved agricultural techniques.

Featured Nicaragua publications

  • Nicaragua: WFP Country Brief (PDF, 357 KB)

    A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.

Looking for more publications on Nicaragua? Visit the Nicaragua publications archive.