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Nicaragua Action Plan to focus on recovery efforts after hurricanes Eta and Iota

17 Mar 2021


The November hurricanes first hit the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCN) of Nicaragua, an area mostly inhabited by indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples. © World Food Programme

An Action Plan for Nicaragua seeks to complement national response activities to bolster recovery after two hurricanes affected 1.8 million people across 60 per cent of the country.

Nicaragua was particularly affected by the very active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. In November 2020, two devastating hurricanes, Eta and Iota, category 4 and 5, respectively, hit the country in quick succession. Some 1.8 million people across the country were affected. Coastal areas such as the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCN), a rural area mostly inhabited by indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, bore the brunt of the destruction. The Government estimates that the damages caused by both events amount to US$738.6 million dollars.

Early on, the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in the country mobilized to support the response implemented by the national authorities, who had delivered food, construction materials and sent medical brigades, among other activities. The Action Plan aims to better articulate ongoing efforts and focus the response activities, which will unfold throughout 2021, on priority areas.

As a complement to the national response plan in place, the Action Plan seeks $50.9 million for humanitarian activities focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and nutrition, food security, protection and education, as well as the recovery of livelihoods and agricultural production.

Especially during COVID-19 times, the most pressing needs include recovery and reconstruction of damaged health infrastructure, equipment and medicines, as well as drinking-water supply systems and sanitation facilities.

However, early recovery and livelihoods also represent a crucial component of the plan, as about 40 per cent of the economically active population works in the agricultural and fishing sector. The rural areas devastated by Eta and Iota, where poverty is much higher than in urban areas, had also experienced a drought in 2019 and require urgent action.

Delivery of food relief in affected areas. © World Food Programme

The Action Plan targets some 287,000 people and pays particular attention to the plight of women, including pregnant and lactating women, and female-headed households. It also highlights the need to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, a critical area particularly during an emergency.

Other particularly vulnerable groups targeted by the Action Plan include people living with disabilities, children under age 5, schoolchildren and young people, as well as rural populations, indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, those who have lost their livelihoods, and others who have been unable to return to their communities.

As of 15 March, the Action Plan is 40 per cent funded.

The Action Plan is available online.

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