Nicaragua

WFP Nicaragua Country Brief, July 2017

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Highlights

  • WFP distributed 901 mt of food, including vegetable oil, rice, beans, maize, dates, and super cereal, to assist 200,600 pre- and primary school children in the Dry Corridor with a second meal at school. In response to three consecutive years of drought, the Ministry of Education has utilized the national school meals programme as a shock-responsive social safety net.

  • WFP supported the National System of Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Attention (SINAPRED) with technical assistance to update multi-hazard maps in 14 municipalities and design drought response plans in 5 municipalities of the Dry Corridor. This exercise will be finished by September 2017.

Operational Updates

  • Since weather conditions have improved, the Ministry of Education requested WFP to increase the number of targeted schoolchildren in the Dry Corridor of Nicaragua and reduce the number of days of assistance from the planned three months to one month. This way, all pre- and primary school children in the Dry Corridor will receive two meals in schools during the most critical month of the lean season.

  • As part of the El Niño response, WFP is seeking to foster the climate resilience of vulnerable smallholders in the dry corridor of Nicaragua. Thus, with the support of the European Union, WFP distributed fruit and forestry plants to 480 women and men farmers, from three of its assisted farmer organizations (FOs).
    Gender Equlity

  • WFP continued to advance gender awareness in rural communities of Nicaragua, where the gender gap hinders the integration of women farmers into markets. Together with the technical team of one of its assisted FOs, WFP implemented a series of workshops on gender identity, power and violence, directed to 74 women from four Fos assisted by WFP.

  • Women farmers received trainings on pricing and credit administration, and basic accounting. A total of 110 women farmers from four FOs also benefited from agricultural inputs and equipment, provided by WFP at half price. They were requested to finance the remaining 50 percent of the cost, using the FOs’ revolving funding pots, thus putting into practice their acquired knowledge on credit management.

Challenges

  • Despite resource mobilization efforts, the Mother and Child Health component of the country programme has been severely underfunded since its beginning.
    The lack of continued assistance negatively impacts the nutritional status of the most vulnerable population. To continue to provide nutritional assistance in 2017, WFP needs USD 214,000.

  • HIV activities have been discontinued due to lack of funding, with no distributions planned for 2017. WFP needs USD 21,000 to support 1,600 people.

  • WFP requires USD 3 million to begin the procurement of commodities for the requirements of 163,000 schoolchildren in January 2018. Considering lead times of up to four months, funds are required by no later than September to ensure a healthy pipeline.

Promoting Nutrition and Food Security in Rural Nicaragua

  • With the aim of fostering good nutrition and eating habits, WFP conducted food security and nutrition workshops in the north-western region of the country with members of six of its FOs, as well as member staff from the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), WFP’s government partner. The topics focused particularly on the components of a healthy diet, the different types of malnutrition, including obesity and overweight, the bio fortification of beans, and nutritional evaluations.