Nicaragua: Disaster/Crisis Preparedness Action, Operation DREF Final Report (MDRNI011) – Nicaragua

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On November 7, 2021, general elections were held in 153 municipalities in Nicaragua, electing Daniel Ortega Saavedra as president, Rosario Murillo Zambrana as vice president, and 91 members of the National Assembly and 20 members of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN). The Supreme Electoral Council ratified the election on November 26, 2021 in accordance with the electoral calendar. The participation rate in these elections was 65.26%, or a total of 2,921,430 votes (2,759,743 valid votes and 161,687 invalid votes).

At the same time, the OAS General Assembly in Guatemala voted in favor of a resolution declaring that the Nicaraguan elections lack democratic legitimacy and ordered its Permanent Council to carry out a “collective assessment” of the situation in Nicaragua. Its conclusions, delivered on November 30, highlighted the irregularities of the electoral process, which aggravated socio-political tensions and led to misinformation among the Nicaraguan population due to the abundance of information on social networks.

The electoral scenario from April to November 2021 provided for the detention of presidential candidates and opponents of the government. Some 46 people were arrested, including seven presidential candidates, and the legal personality of several political parties was revoked, leaving only the old traditional parties such as Camino Cristiano, Partido Liberal Constitucionalista, Alianza Liberal and the government party Frente Sandinista in the race. . In addition, any citizen who expresses different opinions or participated in the 2018 protests is harassed in several ways, putting their safety and that of their family at risk.

Government party announcements were the most visible and citizens had no open expression about the results. The socio-political crisis continues in the country, causing unemployment and the mass migration of Nicaraguan citizens to the United States, Costa Rica, Spain and Panama, among others.

The second wave of COVID-19 hit Nicaragua from August to November 2021, this time the Delta variant, claiming more lives. The national observatory reports 31,505 cases and 5,973 deaths, while the Ministry of Health reports 13,589 cases and 217 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Following the emergence of the Omicron variant in South Africa in November 2021, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) confirmed cases of Omicron in Nicaragua in late January, becoming yet another threat to health and life Nicaraguans. Either way, the existence of variants generates uncertainty and threatens the financial and social stability of Nicaraguan families.

Therefore, on 3 September 2021, an implementation strategy for the use of DREF anticipatory funds was launched to support the National Society in:

• Planning sessions for purchases and deliveries related to COVID-19.

• Sharing a strategy and manual for safer access.

• Prepositioning of essential humanitarian items and preparation by the branches.

• Training of volunteers: workshops on safer access, PSS training and others.

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