USD 2.8 million six months net funding requirements
As the new school year starts in February, food distributions initiated at the end of January. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, WFP will reach around 165,000 pre- and primary school children with daily school meals in some of the most remote and poorest communities in the Northern Autonomous Caribbean Coast (RACCN) and Jinotega. School feeding is the largest national social protection programme, providing much needed support to vulnerable children with constant access to nutritious food as well as an incentive for school attendance and retention. At times of economic hardship, the programme alleviates the food burden and economic pressure for families while preventing them from adopting negative coping strategies such as reducing the quantity and quality of their meals or removing children from school.
WFP also continued to generate linkages between the school feeding programme and local food production by sourcing part of the food requirements from smallholder farmers. In January, WFP procured 18 mt of beans from a farmer organization, linking 35 smallholder farmers (42 percent women) to a formal market and generating higher incomes. The procurement followed a competitive tender process, whereby competition between farmer organizations increased. The programme not only provides schools and student with nutritious food, but also generates income for small holder farmer households and thus, brings about opportunities for the local rural economy.
WFP is strongly committed to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nicaragua. Therefore, WFP is implementing a Women Economic Empowerment Strategy, providing women smallholder farmers with technical assistance and inputs and promoting gender awareness. As part of these efforts, WFP conducted a training session on marketing in January. The training allowed women participants to improve their skills and learn how to leverage their resources to access formal markets.
To strengthen national capacities in risk management and emergency preparedness, WFP provided technical assistance to improve information management systems, connecting field-level information with the national, government-led systems. This is part of a long-term strategy to build an information platform, which can be used by different Government institutions to inform emergency responses in the event of a shock. With this information, decision-makers will be able to reach those in need more efficiently and timely.
WFP also supported the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Response (SINAPRED) in the development of a communication strategy which seeks to generate awareness and a culture of preparedness in addition to sensitising disaster-prone populations to potential risks. To do so, WFP participated in an interagency workshop, together with the International Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and government institutions.
During the workshop, the scope for an assessment was established to identify communication channels, messaging and information requirements of different target groups. The assessment will incorporate gender and food security analyses. WFP also continued to strengthen the capacities of SINAPRED and other government institutions on social behaviour change communication, an approach that will guide SINAPRED’s communication strategy. The strategy will be developed and institutionalized throughout 2019 as part of the national risk management programmes.