Nicaragua is a low-income, food-deficit country and one of the poorest in Latin America. Agriculture, the primary economic activity, engages almost 70 percent of the population and contributes to 20 percent of the country's GDP.
Food insecurity is closely linked with poverty, with the effects of climate change and with natural disasters. Almost 30 percent of the families in the country live in poverty and over 8 percent struggle in extreme poverty, surviving on less than US$ 1.25 daily.
Some 17 percent of children aged under five suffer from chronic malnutrition, with peaks of between 28 and 29.5 percent in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Madriz and Jinotega. WFP studies have shown that stunting – below-average height caused by chronic malnutrition – among children aged under three in areas targeted by WFP for assistance is higher than the national average.