Threats to Food Security

  • Natural disasters
  • Poverty
  • Low infrastructures
  • Low education levels


With a per capita National Gross Income (NGI) of 980 dollars, Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Recurring natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, drought, swells, and volcanic eruptions) have also destroyed the country’s economic base and caused great human loss.

The incidence of poverty is highest among rural populations, where 46 percent live in poverty and 15.1 percent live in extreme poverty. The median income of the poor covers only 24 percent of the cost of the basic food basket.

A nutritional evaluation done by the WFP, together with the government, determined that one out of three children in the WFP areas of intervention suffers from chronic undernutrition; in regions affected by the coffee crisis, chronic undernutrition affects over 40 percent of children under five.

WFP Activities

WFP is working to connect farmers in Nicaragua to markets through the Purchase for Progress initiative. Learn more

WFP activities are concentrated in the 42 municipalities identified by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit as being the most vulnerable to food insecurity. Operations are underway in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Estelí, Jinotega, Matagalpa and the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic (acronym RAAN in Spanish).

The Country Programme (2008-2012) aims to improve the nutritional state of women and children; alleviate hunger in the short run, and increase registration and attendance at pre-schools and schools; and enable poor rural homes to invest in development activities to reduce their vulnerability to recurring natural disasters and thus reduce migration to urban areas.

The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) aims to assist some 132.000 people. Its goals are to provide food assistance to vulnerable families affected by hunger and poverty.

An emergency operation was implemented to assist 80.000 persons who were affected by Hurricane Felix which devastated RAAN in September 2007

WFP Offices

Head Office