Saturday, July 20, 2013

Poverty declines in Nicaragua

NICARAGUA reduced poverty by 14% in 2012, according to data from a Home Questionnaire conducted by the International Foundation for Global Economic Challenge (FIDEG), with the rate dropping 1.4 percentage points to 42.7%, from 44.1% in 2011.

The information indicates that more than 84,000, among the country’s population of approximately six million, are no longer attempting to live on less than $2 a day and another 34,000 emerged from extreme poverty.

Enrique Alaniz, FIDEG research director, reported that contributing to the reduction in poverty were family remittances, which surpassed a billion dollars, 11.2% more than the $911,600 Nicaraguans received in 2011.

He explained that the poverty rate has, however, been consistently falling for the last four years. In 2009 it stood at 44.7% of the population.

Experts attribute progress to programs supporting the most vulnerable, implemented by the Sandinista government which returned to office in 2007. These efforts have benefited more than half a million people over the last six years.

One of the most recognized is Usura Cero, (Zero Usury) which has already this year supported some 2,528 women in launching small businesses and, by extension their families, according to its director Leonor Corea.

The Ministry of Family, Community, Cooperative and Associative Economics has reported the delivery of food benefits to 100,000 families with children, in addition to programs such as Crissol, serving 20,000; Alimentary and Nutritional Security (14,000) and the Micro-Small Business Service (46,000).

Additionally, 1,610 persons have benefited from the Juvenile Initiative; 5,500 through Procaval and 175,000 via Healthy Backyards, which supplies families with seedlings, allowing them to grow food in their own yards.

The United Nations World Food and Agricultural Organization has recognized the country’s efforts, in particular, the provision of a free school lunch, to all children in grades one through nine.

During the period 1989-2010, Nicaragua reduced malnutrition from 52% to 19%, supporting more than a million people, according to the UN organization’s reports. (PL)

July 18, 2013