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 to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the most vulnerable populations of the Dry Corridor and Northern Nicaragua.
The announcement was made jointly by Mr. Pelayo Castro, Ambassador of the European Union in Nicaragua, and Mr. Joe Geisbusch, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Nicaragua. In total, the EU will reach some 3,000 subsistence and smallholder farmers (40% women), and support the feeding of children in vulnerable situations.
"It fills me with hope to see the strength and perseverance of these producers, who in spite of the 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.
For his part, Joe Geisbusch, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Nicaragua, said: "This specific contribution to food security, within the framework of the efforts of the Europe Team to address the crisis of COVID-19, will also help strengthen the provision of nutritious school meals to 182,000 girls and boys in more than 2,000 rural schools in Jinotega and the Northern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region".
The implementation of this financing package of 15 million euros, part of the Team Europe initiative in Nicaragua, will be implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP). It adds to the resources already mobilised by the EU and its Member States to fight the COVID-19 crisis in the country, by redirecting the portfolio of existing cooperation projects, estimated at about 35 million euros.
European cooperation actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be aimed at strengthening production through water management and the purchase of inputs for the cultivation of basic grains, which will guarantee access to food for the most disadvantaged populations. In addition, it will focus on the most vulnerable population through school meals, the implementation of security and preventive health measures, the distribution of cleaning kits and an educational campaign in schools and cooperatives.
The new funding announced by the EU in Nicaragua will also be used to promote technologies for adapting 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 agro-food systems.
STRENGTHENING OF REGIONAL INSTITUTIONS
In the case of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the EU and its Member States will contribute to strengthening regional information systems on food and nutritional security, and to increasing the capacity of regional, national and local institutions to implement actions related to the contingency plan to respond to the effects on food and nutritional security of the COVID-19 pandemic and other climatic, economic and financial events.
IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF TEAM RESOURCES EUROPE
In the different cooperation actions that the EU will deploy in the framework of the Team Europe global solidarity initiative, resources will be managed by implementing agencies of Member States, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and contractors in charge of project implementation.
"It is part of our commitment to Nicaragua to continue implementing all the monitoring and evaluation procedures to ensure that our cooperation respects European standards and is effectively targeted at the most vulnerable populations in need of our solidarity," explained Ambassador Pelayo Castro.