Knowledge Note

Severe weather conditions can undo even the best efforts of families to break free of poverty. Households that rely on subsistence or small-scale farming are especially at the mercy of severe weather. Droughts and floods wipe out crops, leaving families hungry or without anything to sell to pay for essentials such as school fees or medicines. Indeed, empirical evidence from many parts of the developing world has established large welfare losses following weather shocks in developing countries. Climate changes have made weather even more variable in many countries, exacerbating problems such as droughts, extreme temperatures and flooding.

In Nicaragua, the second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti, poverty is compounded by weather conditions. To understand what might allow families to better manage risks, the World Bank supported an evaluation of a pilot program in Nicaragua to encourage rural households to diversify beyond small-scale farming.

This poverty and equity note covers the conditional cash transfers to cope with severe weather conditions in Nicaragua as of March 2018.

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