The European Union (EU) and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will jointly allocate 15 million euros to contribute to food and nutritional security, as well as the mitigation of the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the most vulnerable populations of the so-called Dry Corridor and northern Nicaragua.

The announcement was made jointly by Pelayo Castro, ambassador of the European Union in Nicaragua, and Joe Geisbusch, Charge d’Affaires of the Luxembourg Embassy in Nicaragua.

In total, the EU expects to reach some 3,000 subsistence farmers and small farmers (40% women), and will support the feeding of vulnerable children.

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“It fills me with hope to see the strength and perseverance of these producers, who despite adversities have known how to take advantage of our contribution to reinvent themselves and strengthen their capacity to respond to the different crises they have had to face in one of the areas most affected by the effects of climate change. Today more than ever, in the midst of the multiple challenges posed by this pandemic in the short, medium and long term, we need to strengthen the support we have been giving to these populations in the country, “said Pelayo Castro, Ambassador of the European Union in Nicaragua , according to a statement issued by the EU press office in Nicaragua.

For his part, Joe Geisbusch, Chargé d’affaires ai of the Luxembourg Embassy in Nicaragua, said: “This specific contribution to food security, in the framework of the efforts of the Europe team to address the Covid-19 crisis, will also contribute to strengthen the provision of nutritious school meals to 182,000 girls and boys in more than 2,000 rural schools in Jinotega and the Autonomous Region of the North Caribbean Coast. ”

WFP in charge of its implementation

The implementation of this new financing of 15 million euros, part of the Team Europe initiative in Nicaragua, will be in charge of the World Food Program (WFP). They add to the resources already mobilized by the EU and its Member States to fight the Covid-19 crisis in the country, by reorienting the portfolio of existing cooperation projects, estimated at around 35 million euros.

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The actions of European cooperation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic will be aimed at strengthening production by managing water and purchasing inputs for the cultivation of basic grains, which guarantee access to food for the most disadvantaged populations.

In addition, it will focus on the most vulnerable population through the school snack, the implementation of sanitary security and prevention measures, distribution of cleaning kits and the carrying out of an educational campaign in schools and cooperatives.

The new financing announced by the EU in Nicaragua will also be used to promote technologies for adaptation to climate change and best practices for the collection, management and use of water, both for production and consumption, as well as for forest recovery and the development of sustainable agri-food systems.

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Strengthening of regional information systems

In the case of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the EU and its Member States will contribute to strengthening regional information systems for food and nutrition security, increasing the capacity of regional, national and local institutions to implement actions related to the contingency plan.

“It is part of our commitment to Nicaragua to continue putting into practice all the control and evaluation procedures to guarantee that our cooperation respects European norms and is effectively aimed at the most vulnerable populations that need our solidarity,” explained Ambassador Pelayo Castro, quote from the press release of the regional body.