With 79.9% of its population living on $2 or less per day, Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. While 46% of the population lives below the poverty line, the incidence of poverty in rural areas (68%) is more than twice as high as that of urban areas (29%). Nicaragua’s health, nutrition, and other indicators are also among the lowest in Latin America. According to the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, 31.5% of all children are anemic and 46% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition in Nicaragua. Further, Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural economy, yet the country must import cooking oil, wheat and basic grains to meet demand for food; and many citizens still face a daily struggle to obtain adequate food for themselves and their families.
SCF supported child health and education programs to help improve child mortality rate caused by lack of fresh water and poor sanitation. By reducing child malnutrition through the improvement of diet, educating families on safe hygiene practices, and assisting with the management of drinking water, SCF is ensuring better health for children under five years of age and pregnant women. The program reached over 5,000 families in rural and slum areas of Nicaragua.