Nicaragua is a low-income food deficit country, ranked 115 out of 169 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) from 2010.
According to the statement from the National Survey of Demographic and Health (ENDESA 2006-2007), 23% of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic undernutrition and the highest rates of 28% to 38% are stated in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Matagalpa, Madriz, Jinotega and North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN).
FAO estimates 19% of the population is undernourished (2007). Food consumption patterns in Nicaragua have changed due to economic constraints. Nicaraguan families have reduced their meat and dairy consumption, invested less on health and education and in some cases removed their children from school.
WFP studies have shown that stunting among children under the age of 3 in WFP targeted areas is higher than the national average, estimated at 30%.
This country is still a prey of recurrent natural disasters, such as droughts, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. That is why 2% of the infrastructure is considered vulnerable, since the capital is crisscrossed by 18 seismic faults.