National Assembly member Florence Levy and the representative of the co-operative union Soppexcca Junieth Leiva will visit the United Kingdom to give their perspective on relevant national dynamics.
According to the United Nations, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $958 per capita. Moreover, the main source of income in the country is the inflow of payments from families that have emigrated to the United States or Costa Rica.
Within this context, 70% of the population live below the poverty line and women, who are responsible for both parenting and carrying out paid work, are at the head of many households.
Currently, there is a severe lack of social protection and families need to devise strategies to generate income and develop social protection networks.
Further, the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (Funides) has pointed out that Nicaragua is facing a social crisis. They have recorded an increase in the level of repression by government forces, composed of the National Police, para-police forces and other armed groups.
As a consequence of this, there is a general atmosphere of insecurity within the country and the number of fatal victims of such groups peaked at 285 between April and June 2018.
The socio-economic situation of Nicaragua needs more visibility. For this reason, a series of different events connected with the country will take place in the United Kingdom.
Firstly, two Nicaraguan women will visit the country to give their first-hand experiences on what is happening in the country. On December 1, National Assembly member, doctor and trade unionist Florence Levy will be one of the key speakers at the annual Latin America Adelante Conference.
The press office says “Florence is from the Caribbean Coast and plays a key role on the National Assembly as the President of the Commission for Indigenous Peoples, Afro Descendants and Autonomy Issues. As well as speaking at the Conference, Florence will also be a speaker on a tour organized by NSCAG”.
Further, Fair coffee farmer and representative of the cooperative union Soppexcca Junieth Leiva will come to the United Kingdom, as she has been invited by the Bristol Link with Nicaragua (BLINC). She will stay in the country from 21 February to 10 March. During her stay, she will join talks in both Bristol and Bath to celebrate Fair-trade Trade Fortnight.
Moreover, in solidarity with the Social Economic Council (Conapades), the Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign (NSC) has been involved in staging interviews with relevant representatives of the organisations involved. The social economy of Nicaragua is a key topic to be addressed as 73% of the local population is employed within the sector.
The NSC explained that the organisations which are part of the sector “include self-employed workers such as street sellers represented through their trade union, the CTCP; agricultural, transport, fishing, and craft co-operatives; and small and medium businesses represented through their organisation Conamipyme”.
This is crucial as “these organisations have developed and expanded as a result of social programmes and political and economic support from the government including the setting up of a government ministry responsible for training and enabling them to market their products” as “most of the 120,000 people who have lost their jobs due to the violence related to the attempted coup and the economic downturn were employed in the social economy. This has left those already profoundly impoverished struggling to meet their basic needs, particularly women”.