This operation has been modified as per budget revision 4 (see below)
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with gross national income per capita at US$1,080; 42 percent of the population live below the poverty line, and 15 percent live in extreme poverty. Poverty levels are highest in rural areas, particularly the North Atlantic Autonomous Region, home to most indigenous communities, where 37 percent of the population live in extreme poverty. In indigenous areas,40 percent of children do not attend primary school, and the average length of schooling is only three years. Chronic malnutrition affects 22 percent of children under 5; stunting is highest in the dry corridor, reaching 35 percent in Madriz and 28 percent in Nueva Segovia. Nicaragua is also vulnerable to recurrent natural disasters that impede progress in addressing poverty and food insecurity.
The goal of the country programme is to support and complement the Government in designing and implementing long-term programmes to break the inter-generational cycle of undernutrition and hunger in line with the National Human Development Plan (2009–2011), the National Programme Towards the Eradication of Child Chronic Undernutrition (2007–2015), the National Micronutrient Plan, the Early Childhood Stimulation Programme, the National HIV Programme, the National Education Plan (2011–2015) and government social safety net programmes.
This country programme focuses on technical assistance with a view to developing the capacity of the Government to design, implement, monitor and evaluate sustainable programmes with a gender perspective to reduce hunger and undernutrition. It will concentrate on the most food-insecure areas – Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Jinotega and the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RACN) – with a view to: supporting national work on preventing chronic malnutrition among children aged 6–23 months and pregnant and lactating women; supporting access to education for pre-school and primary school-aged children; enhancing resilience to shocks among food-insecure rural households that depend on degraded natural resources, especially those headed by women; supporting adherence to anti-retroviral therapy for HIV patients in food-insecure areas; and enhancing government capacities to design and implement programmes to predict and reduce hunger.
The country programme is planned for the five years from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2018, by which time it is expected that the Government will be responsible for funding and implementing national food and nutrition security programmes, with WFP providing technical assistance only.
Budget revision 4 make the following changes to school feeding component of the CP: increase by 14,000 the number of targeted school children in the RACN; include dates to raise the nutritional and energy value of the food basket and absorb in-kind contributions; increase the rice ration in the food basket; and include school garden activities to support the government strategy to augment the National School Meal Programme.