Moisés former gang member now part of the project “Young Entrepreneurs”. Through the project he is now a qualified builder. The project is run by INSFOP, one of Oxfams partners in Nicaragua. Credit: William Vest-Lillesøe / Oxfam IBIS

Nicaragua is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country of more than six million inhabitants. The population is predominantly young (65%) and female (57%). 57 per cent of the population is concentrated in urban areas. Indigenous and ethnic minority groups make up about 15 per cent of the population.

The socio-political revolution that took place in Nicaragua during the 1980’s was an inspiration for change throughout the world. Nicaragua was on the verge of delivering a fairer political system thanks to the social movers of the time. Now many decades after the revolution however, ravaged by war and natural disaster, the country is saddled with debt and the second poorest in America.

Oxfam in Nicaragua

We support organizations and communities throughout Nicaragua, with a particular focus on the capital - Managua, the West, the North and the autonomous regions of the South Atlantic and the North, as well as the special regime zone. Our work in the country falls under three program areas and two campaigns.

  • Alternative rural economy

40 per cent of the population of Nicaragua lives on less than $2.00 US per day. Extreme poverty is concentrated in the rural areas where it is principally manifested as food insecurity. Forecasts indicate that this situation is likely to get worse in the coming years due to the effects of climate change.

We work with local actors to design strategies to increase the resilience of small farmers. We look at how they can grow in a better and more sustainable way, access markets to sell produce more easily and in that way increase their income. We also work with rural women’s organizations and the co-operative sector to assist them to be recognized as legitimate economic players and to participate in public political dialogue.

  • Active citizenship for women and young people

In Nicaragua, the structural causes of inequality are reinforced by patriarchal policy and practice which limits women’s rights in matters of sexuality and procreation, economic participation and to live free from violence.

We want a fairer system and to that end,  we work with women’s and feminist organizations, as well as national and international networks to enable more women and young people to be better aware of their rights and to increase their capacity to demand that they are observed as much in their private lives as in public.

  • Emergency response

Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, climate change... Nicaragua is constantly threatened by natural catastrophe. Each year, natural disaster takes a heavy human tool and increases poverty and vulnerability in affected communities.

We give women and men the means to prepare themselves to face these catastrophes head on and protect their livelihoods. We work in direct collaboration with the National System for the Prevention of Natural Disasters, our local partners and with the United Nations, and we are permanently prepared to deliver an emergency response should it be required.

  • Campaigns and popular mobilization

We can not end poverty or inequality without pushing for fairer public policies. We work with social organizations and movements to raise public awareness of inequality and to influence political actors to bring about lasting social change.

In the framework of the GROW campaign, we seek to solve hunger, which touches one person in five in Nicaragua, by pushing for existing laws related to land access for rural women and food security to be applied.

The Even it up! campaign denounces the fact that in a world where the majority of wealth is concentrated in the hands of the 1% most rich, inequality hinders the reduction of poverty. In Nicaragua, the solution is a fairer and more effective financial system that benefits the majority.