Nicaragua: WFP Sends More Food to Flood-Affected Families

Workers load a truck with WFP food for flood victims in the northern Nicaraguan Caribbean coast. (Copyright: WFP/Sabrina Quezada)

MANAGUA - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Nicaragua dispatched today a second shipment of food to assist families affected by rains and floods in 25 communities inhabited mostly by indigenous Miskito, Municipality of Prinzapolka, in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) in the Nicaraguan Caribbean.

"Bad weather is greatly affecting the poorest and most vulnerable families and what is happening in Prinzapolka is an example,” said WFP Representative in Nicaragua, Helmut Rauch. “These families have no food at the moment and also lost their crops. October and November are going to be very hard for them as they will not reap the maize and rice they expected to harvest. Action must be taken to ensure their food needs are met in these times of crisis," he said.

Approximately 75 Metric Tons of rice, beans, corn, vegetable oil, fortified cereal with micronutrients and salt will be distributed in 30-day rations among some 6,079 people living on the banks of the Bambana and Prinzapolka Rivers. Prinzapolka was declared on Red Alert by national authorities due to flooding from overflowing rivers.

WFP is responding to the request made by the Government of Nicaragua, through the National Emergency Prevention, Assistance and Mitigation System (SINAPRED), to assist the families affected by floods. SINAPRED also requested the support of WFP to also transport clothing, boots, beds and toiletries that the Government is sending to the affected families.

This second WFP food shipment is worth US$90,000 and follows a previous food shipment sent last week to flood-affected families living in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS).

Land and water transportation
This food shipment takes a journey of 380 kilometers by land from Managua to Alamikambang, close to Prinzapolka municipal capital. Then the food is loaded on boats for another journey of 170 kilometers to reach some 25 communities located along the Bambana and Prinzapolka rivers.

"Prinzapolka communities are highly affected because they have suffered two consecutive floods, one in June and another in July. According to local authorities, almost all crops of corn, rice, cassava, banana and plantain were damaged by the floods. Many families also lost their small canoes (cayucos) because the strong currents drag them. This means that their entire livelihood is severely affected," said Jorge Ariel Pineda, head of the WFP Sub-Office in the area.

Prinzapolka is inhabited mostly by Miskito indigenous. In less proportions are the mestizos and an estimated 500 people are ethnic Mayagna. 95% of the municipality's population is rural, concentrating its people in small communities that lack drinking water systems and electricity. Their livelihoods are agriculture and fishing.