While lockdowns are in place across much of the world, no action is being taken in Nicaragua to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean that Nicaraguans are not suffering the effects of the pandemic: several thousand people face hunger after losing their livelihoods. CSI’s local partners are distributing food to hundreds of people in need.
The Nicaraguan government is continuing to play down the existence of the virus, although the first cases and deaths have already been registered. The country’s borders remain open. Doctors who have warned of the dangers of this approach have lost their jobs and been threatened with jail.
For weeks now, anxious Nicaraguans have been social distancing on their own initiative and keeping their children at home. But for those seeking to protect themselves disinfectants, gloves and protective masks are in short supply and very expensive.
A large part of the population lives in poverty and was already struggling to afford food and essentials. But now thousands of day laborers, garbage collectors and street vendors have lost their daily income as no one wants their services. There is no state social provision.
The situation is particularly bad for the elderly and those in poor health who depend on medication. These include 67-year-old Don Efrain Antonio Mayorga from the capital, Managua. The former electrician does not receive a pension from his employers, nor was he insured by them. In 2014 he suffered a serious work accident and broke his pelvis. Despite an operation, his mobility is seriously reduced. Until now, Don Efrain’s sister took care of him as best as she could. With the little money she earned selling used clothes on the street she could afford to feed Don Efrain as well as her own family. But since the corona crisis, her income has dried up. People are no longer buying clothes but spending what money they have on food and medicine.
Help for hundreds of people
Don Efrain is one of thousands of people in Nicaragua for whom finding enough to eat is a daily struggle. Since the crisis began, CSI‘s local partners have been tirelessly caring for people like him, especially those who live on the streets and in the slums of Managua.
The parcels they distribute contain staple foods such as rice, beans, oil, oats, barley, coffee and milk, and hygiene products including soap, disinfectants, gloves and masks. These provisions are enough to give hope to people like Don Efrain and help them survive these critical weeks.
With your help CSI can continue to support this vital work.