Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Nicaragua Humanitarian Background


Disaster, Conflict and Migration

Disasters caused by natural events


Comments / Details



High risk: Primarily relates to the occurrence of El Niño. The 2014 is the year of the worst drought in 32 years has filed in this country.

Also, there was an increase of 6 to 7 degrees in the ambient temperature. Since beginning the rainy season rainfall decreased by 50% compared to previous years accumulated, affecting crops and water sources for human consumption.

Mainly in the dry zone of the country. From 152 municipalities, 53 with a 35% have historically presented drought and is known as the dry corridor. 28% of them have a very high risk and 7% higher.



High risk for being sudden events. The area of the Pacific is the most vulnerable by the earthquake faults and volcanic chain extending from Cosigüina volcano to the island of Ometepe.

According to current records INETER, 37% of municipalities have some level of threat posed by earthquakes. Of these, 44% are within a high threat level, standing 100% of the municipalities along the Pacific coast.

Among these, the highest risk is managua, considered most vulnerable city is the only municipality in the country with 10 scale earthquake risk by having 18 active faults.

Followed by other municipalities in risk are located in the west of the country. The last occurred event was the April 10, 2014, in the town of Nagarote



The 2013 is considered the year with the highest increase in dengue cases in the country. Until August 2014 it’s recorded a 63% reduction in cases over the previous year as reported by MINSA.

The populations most affected are southern Caribbean, Managua, Nueva Segovia, Leon and Boaco. Another epidemic that is threatening the country with 12 Chikungunya cases reported to date, all imported into the country.

The Ministry of Health has stepped up measures to counter these epidemics.

Temperature Extremes

(Climate Change)


The phenomenon of El Niño and the late entry of winter in Nicaragua in 2014, has produced for the month of May a historic reduction in rainfall that largely correspond to those located in the famous dry corridor extending towards the central Pacific and south.

Increases in average temperature between 1 and 2 degrees for the first decades (2020-50) project, and between 3 or 4 ° C by the end of the century, with the Pacific Coast area of greatest increase.

These changes directly affect the levels of poverty, food security, employment and sustainable development (UNDP).



High risk. During the rainy season, from May to October, the country has 1,615 hotspots in 153 municipalities 61.688 families at risk from flooding.

This threat is associated with the passage of various weather phenomena such as depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.



The coffee harvest in Nicaragua has been affected by rust in the periods 2012-2013 to 37% of the crop, which means that the 2013-2014 harvest tends to decrease affecting the economy in the activities of coffee production involved about 700,000 people,

according to official figures, and directly involved at least 360.438 cutters. In the current cycle rust affected coffee production in 66,000 acres of land in Nicaragua, leaving about 132,000 unemployed cutters.

Avalanches / landslides


Landslides are associated with causes of tectonic or climatic origin mainly.

One of the slides that has affected the country has been the Casitas volcano in 1998 covering an area of ,16 km long and 8 wide has been the biggest landslide caused by Hurricane Mitch in the range of Maribios.

Volcanic Eruptions


High risk from volcanic chain located along the Pacific coast, plus flares is a very common causes telluric movements latent threat.

The most active volcanoes are the San Cristobal and Concepcion Telica, Cerro Negro, Masaya volcano. In 2012 the San Cristobal volcano erupted and were evacuated around 20,000 people.



High risk. Earthquakes associated with the movement of tectonic plates Cocos and Caribbean. The municipalities are the most vulnerable of the Pacific Coast.

On September 1, 1992, a tidal wave destroyed much of the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The wave was between 4 and 10 meters high and was caused by an earthquake (7.3 on the Richter scale) on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

Forest fires


Forest fires are a major threat to forests due to fires for agricultural and livestock activities of control. In the past decade have affected about 5 million hectares of land,

leaving economic losses of US $ 9.0 million per year on average. From January 8 to 19 May 2008 the area affected by forest fires was 21,724.29 hectares; for the period from 2 January to 12 May 2009, the area affected by forest fires was 20.087 hectares.



According to historical records, in the last 20 years Nicaragua has been affected by tropical cyclones that have submitted category Hurricane by 45%, 50% as Tropical Storm and only 5% as a Tropical Depression.

The hurricanes that have affected more strongly the country have been Hurricane Joan (1988), Hurricane Mitch (1998), Hurricane Felix (2007), Hurricane Ida (2009) However, the higher frequency of this phenomenon is in September and October.


Civil strife



International Conflict


Conflict of Rio San Juan Nicaragua- Costa Rica

Colombia-Nicaragua maritime conflict

Internal displacement








Landmines was the result of the internal armed conflict 1979-1990. In June 2010, the Army of Nicaragua announced that demining operations have been performed and declared Nicaragua as a country of clear landmines.

However, caution is recommended in the affected areas should avoid travel off road.

Seasonal Affects on Transport



From (month) to (month)

Primary Freight

No greater impairment during the year. The country's main roads are in good condition.


Secondary transport by road

In rainy season the secondary land routes are affected and limited access to transport, especially in areas of the Atlantic coast and north of the country.

May to october

Rail transport



 Air transport

May be restricted for a few days during the hurricane season or intensive tropical depressions in the country.

May to november

River transport

During the dry season, most waterways have navigation problems for ships and cargo transport. Because of the drought of rivers. Access for small boats (pangas and boats)

February to April

In Nicaragua there are two seasons: The winter is from May to October, and summer from November to April. The rainy season lasts from June to November. The climate of the country varies greatly from one coast to another, on the Atlantic coast the rainy season extends for 9 or 10 months, with the dry season only in the months of May and April. In 2013-2014 period is considered the most affected by drought due to the El Niño phenomenon, this has affected crops in municipalities in the dry zone of the country, causing great losses to small farmers in the area. Also the rainy season affects secondary access roads to get crops. At this time the coffee crop, sugar cane, peanuts, coffee and other basic goods recorded.


Seasonal Affects on storage and handling (economic, social, climate ...)



From <month> to <month>


Pre-positioning of stocks in the North Atlantic Region is advisable before the rainy season.



Product management unit is in the area. If land preferably in dry season and if waterway preferably in the rainy season because it facilitates access and that raises the water level.



For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters:

Emdat website information for Nicaragua

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


For information on Nicaragua government contact details, please see the following link: 

4.1 Nicaragua Government Contact List

Nicaragua has Act 337, and Act 863 reform creator of the National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters, as part of a policy and institutional legal framework of comprehensive disaster risk management in the country. Has updated planning tools that meet government mandates and strategies, regional agreements and international commitments of the country. From the point of view of human resources for disaster risk reduction in the country has the government entities that act according to their functions defined in Act 337.

 There are levels of coordination between the different actors in risk management within the SINAPRED stated in his creative Act, which defines the joint structures, functional relationships, methods and procedures between the ministries and public sector institutions and organizations of various social, private sectors and departmental, regional and municipal authorities. All this in order to perform actions in agreement aimed at reducing risks from disasters both natural and anthropogenic events, in order to protect the general public and their property.

 According to Law 863 "there are two Co-directions as organs of administrative support and implementation of the National System, which are headed by a Co-director each, appointed by the President, who exercise legal representation the national system, as it relates to the scope of its jurisdiction. Besides, there are 9 sectoral working committees coordinated by state institutions (Education and Information, Health, Environment, Transport and Infrastructure, Supplies, Consumer protection, Natural Phenomena, Special Operations and Security). The Civil Defense Army Nicaragua is the body which coordinates Disaster Operations Center (CODE) activated at national and regional level in an emergency.

 The country has scientific and technical information of threats and vulnerabilities, tool damage assessment and training protocols for action, National Risk Management Plan. And office infrastructure, CODE Special Operations Center managed by the Civil Defense Army Nicaragua. Warehouses for storage of supplies in each of the institutions of government, a winery in Matagalpa, one in the RAAS and two warehouses in Managua one recently constructed by WFP, with 500 metric tons (11 million pounds) and is located at kilometer 7 South Road, in extensive grounds in which wineries can be installed quickly moving, if required more storage.

SINAPRED cellar built by WFP

Humanitarian community

The Humanitarian Network RedHumRed identified as Nicaragua, is co-led by the Executive Secretary of SINAPRED and UN Resident Coordinator. This was established in 2010 by 52 humanitarian organizations responding to the shared obligation to alleviate human suffering, raising the impact of humanitarian action and commitment to improve the coordination and participation of all humanitarian actors in preparedness and response to disasters.

The main objective of REDHUMRED is to organize and strengthen humanitarian network, composed by SINAPRED, NGOs, Cooperating Agencies, Private Companies, Civil Society Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the United Nations system to optimize the predictability of humanitarian response.

A UN level has a UNDMT organizational structure is expected instance, within the United Nations System, to meet emergency management disaster. This team is composed of representatives of the agencies of the UN system.

UNETT is made by the agency that coordinates the UNETT and focal points or emergency specialists from each agency of the UN system in the country.

UNETE represents the level by which the coordination of actions to support the management of the emergency and where measures Interagency and interagency coordination are deployed runs. Currently WFP is the lead agency for this area of UN coordination in Nicaragua.

For information on Nicaragua humanitarian contact details, please see the following link: 

4.2 Nicaragua Humanitarian Agency Contact List