Nicaragua, a country of about 6 million inhabitants, is a multiethnic and multicultural society, with the majority of the population being urban (57%), female (57%), and young (65%). The indigenous and ethnic communities represent 15% of the population.
The political and social revolution in Nicaragua during the eighties made the country an inspiration for change across the world, a country where the appearance of social activists cleared the path for the theories of equality to become a reality. Decades later, decimated by the ravages of war and natural disasters, Nicaragua has become a deeply indebted country and is the second poorest in the Americas.
As of early 2012, democracy remains a challenge and the country’s economy depends in large measure on its agricultural exports, international aid and the remittances sent from abroad by relatives. According to the World Bank, 80% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day and poverty is principally a rural problem.
The gender gap between women and men continues to be significant due to the unequal distribution of power between the sexes in public and private life.
Nicaragua also faces serious environmental problems and is extremely vulnerable to natural catastrophes. From a positive point of view, it has institutional experience, legal frameworks and good community organisation, but it needs to allocate more economic resources to confront these challenges.
Oxfam in Nicaragua
We have been working in Nicaragua for more than 20 years. We believe that the active, organized and autonomous participation of civil society is the key to achieving long-term changes. To do this, we are:
- Promoting active citizenship, with special emphasis on the transformational leadership of women and young people, which exerts an influence both on government and public policies.
- Creating sustainable livelihoods by strengthening the rural economy with local partners.
- Contributing to the preservation of the rights of the most vulnerable groups in Nicaragua so that they are prepared for crisis situations and have access to good quality humanitarian aid.