COVID Update: Nicaragua

Nicaragua – MEC (Maria Elena Cuadra Movement of Employed and Unemployed Women)

The world pandemic is not only affecting the global economy, it is also having a devastating impact on the local economies, particularly in developing countries. In Nicaragua, according to the Maria Elena Cuadra Movement of Employed and Unemployed Women (MEC), 42 textile Industry companies have fired 5,768 workers1. Daniel Ortega’s government, official unions and the Nicaraguan business sector signed an agreement called the “Tripartite agreement” which violates many Nicaraguans workers’ rights.

Sandra Ramos and the Maria Elena Cuadra Movement monitored Nicaragua’s free trade zone, in Managua, Masaya and Carazo. When the monitoring began in March, there were 83,980 workers employed. As of May 1, 2020, when the monitoring was completed, there were 42,167 workers still operating in the Free Trade Zone. This means that 41,813 workers were fired, suspended or forced to take extended vacation time.

According to the international media, the lack of preventive measures in Nicaragua is putting peoples’ health at risk2; MEC is currently supporting this population most of whom are women by providing basic food supplies. Sandra Ramos and MEC’s staff are constantly monitoring this population due to the nature of MEC’s work which includes un-employed women.

These are some results of the monitoring conducted by CoDev’s Nicaraguan partner as of May 1st:

1 https://www.articulo66.com/2020/05/03/despidos-zonas-francas-nicaragua-coronavirus-covid-19/
2 https://www.bbc.com/mundo/52530594

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