Monday 6 October 2014

Monday 6th, October 2014. Managua, Nicaragua. Andrea Núñez-Flores Rey

 Marlen, a beneficiary of the project and her baby, Fran Tijerino II.

The emergency project caused by coffee rust in communities of Jinotega and Matagalpa from May to September 2014 ends successfully. The objective was to cover basic and protection needs of 1,325 children, reducing the impact on food security caused by the infestation.

The 440 beneficiary families are people whose livelihoods were severely affected by coffee rust, because the coffee cultivation is their main, and sometimes only, source of income.

This crisis has also spread through Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and has worsened due to the severe drought affecting the entire region. In Nicaragua, the project attended the municipalities of Jinotega, Matagalpa, El Cuá, La Dalia and San Ramón.

Marlen’s plantation, a 25-year-old woman with a baby and a child of seven years, was very attacked by coffee rust. "The months of March, April and May have been very hard. Just when the baby was born. My husband and I were very sad because there were days when we had nothing to give our children for eating. We were getting food as we could, especially rice and bananas. We only ate in the morning and evening.”

Save the Children's response

With the humanitarian response project, Save the Children provided technical assistance and fertilizer for corn crops, which increased production to 50%. “We had such a bad situation because the corn crop was poor and we were not able to store almost anything. The aid of fertilizer for corn has been very important and good because we could see how the crop improves.”

Exchangeable vouchers for essential household ítems were also distributed, to reduce the effects of food insecurity. In addition, Save the Children’s team also carried out a report on nutrition in childhood and healthy hygiene habits.

“If Save the Children would not help us, we would have very tough months until we will collect the harvest. But with the voucher, we will be able to eat until we collect corn,” says Marlen.

Despite the project has benefited 2,439 people, a risk of food security continues because the coffee rust persists and a drought affects nutrition of 100,000 families in Nicaragua, according to the Human Rights Commissioner.

A coffee plant attacked by coffee rust, Matagalpa.