This Country Programme has been modified as per Budget revision 8 (see below).
Nicaragua remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America with a gross domestic product per capita of US$960; 48 percent of the population live below the poverty line, 17 percent in extreme poverty. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations identifies 1.5 million people as undernourished.
Chronic malnutrition affects 20 percent of children under 5; the figure is 50 percent in some WFP target areas. Wealth distribution is highly unequal in Nicaragua: the richest 20 percent own 60 percent of wealth; the poorest 20 percent own 3 percent. Poverty and inequality are shown in low attendance at schools and health centres.
According to vulnerability analysis and mapping vulnerable municipalities are mainly in the rural north and in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region. The country programme will focus 95 percent of resources on the most food-insecure areas – Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Jinotega, Matagalpa and the North Atlantic Autonomous Region.
The Government Food Consumption Survey in 2004 showed that 50 percent of people have a food deficit; the highest deficits per capita are in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region and the South Atlantic Autonomous Region; Madriz and Nueva Segovia provinces have the highest deficit per capita of between 230 kcal and 340 kcal per capita per day.
WFP programmes will have greater impact under the Government’s Hambre Cero (Zero Hunger) programme. The United Nations Development Assistance Framework will ensure that WFP’s inputs are coordinated with those of other agencies. The country programme will enable the Government to strengthen its ability to manage and sustain food assistance, paving the way for an eventual hand-over.
In line with the Zero Hunger programme, the country programme will focus on mother-and-child health, food for education and food for training for 225,000 beneficiaries.
The five-year budget is US$18.58 million; the annual average is US$3.7 million. The current programme covers 70 percent of the needs identified by vulnerability analysis and mapping, so the country programme will seek direct bilateral funding and private sector contributions to help 95,000 schoolchildren in highly vulnerable areas.