Nicaragua is the largest nation in Central America; it is bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Nicaragua ranges from the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Nicaragua also possesses a series of islands and cays located in the Atlantic Ocean.
The country’s name is derived from Nicarao, the name of the Nahuatl-speaking tribe, which inhabited the shores of Lake Nicaragua before the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and the Spanish word Agua, meaning water, due to the presence of the large Lake Cocibolca (or Lake Nicaragua) and Lake Managua (or Lake Xolotlán), as well as lagoons and rivers in the region.
Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the region after Haiti. After decades of political instability, and still vulnerable to natural hazards, the country has achieved a remarkable economic turnaround and now is focusing on innovative ways of reducing poverty
Defying global economic odds, Nicaragua has remained a bright spot in an otherwise mixed scenario for Central America’s economies.
The country, once besieged by political turmoil and still vulnerable to natural hazards, has been growing on average with Latin America over the past decade. Disciplined macroeconomic policies since 2001 combined with a steady expansion of exports and FDI helped Nicaragua to weather recent global economic turbulence of the 2008-09 crisis, rising food and oil prices.
After a quick rebound in 2010, economic activitygrew at 5.4% in 2011, the highest rate in a decade. Inflation was also tamed to single digits–around 8% in 2011, down from a high of 25% in mid-2008. The macro economy remains stable, with a GDP forecast growth of 4.2% in 2014, and foreign direct investment and trade show an improved outlook.
Nicaragua’s economic turnaround has allowed the country’s decision makers to shift from crisis control mode to longer-term, pioneering strategies to fight poverty, particularly in remote rural communities. Massive debt relief by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s unit for the poor, has helped to make this shift possible.
Nicaragua is still one of Latin America’s least developed countries. Poverty, although declining steadily in recent years, remains high. And more than 80% of Nicaragua’s poor live in the rural areas; many in remote communities where the access to basic services is still a daily challenge.
To this end, Nicaragua’s National Plan for Human Development (PNDH) 2007-12, is being updated through 2016. Its overarching goal is to reduce inequality by increasing poverty- reduction spending and boosting investment in social sectors and rural infrastructure.
The World Bank Working for a World Free of Poverty
BCF is working to help alleviate the dire poverty conditions. We hope with the sponsorship and contributions of the international general public we can build a better future for many needy kids and their families, one step at a time…