OPEC Fund assists indigenous group in Nicaragua with US$200,000 Grant



December 14, 2004
Vienna, Austria
The OPEC Fund for International Development today approved a grant of US$200,000 in support of an ongoing project to assist the Mayangna people of Nicaragua, an indigenous minority living in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region.
Covering about one-quarter of the country, the region is home to around 160,000 people from four ethnic groups. It is rich in natural resources, including rain forests, which the Mayangna protect and manage using traditional means.
The primary objective of the current initiative is to ensure the sustainability of the Mayangna people by strengthening their productive capacities and communal organization.
Spearheaded by the Austrian Relief Organization, a non-profit NGO, the project has been underway since January 2003. It has made significant headway towards achieving sustainable food production, strengthening local bio-diversity and developing organizational structures among 13 Mayangna communities in the Sauni territory along the River Tungky. The Fund grant will help finance the continuation of the project for an additional three years (January 2005 – December 2007) and will benefit around 5,260 people.
Project activities will include the purchase of natural fertilizer along with a variety of seeds and bulbs to encourage mixed cultivation, and the provision of domestic livestock such as sheep and hens. In the final year of the project, a marketing plan will be developed for the distribution of agricultural produce to neighboring provinces. Special attention will be paid to protection of the environment and sustainable use of natural resources through training programs on communal forestry and the protection of rivers. Organizational strengthening efforts will continue with the ultimate goal of enabling the Mayangna to take charge of their own development activities.


Project: Strengthening the Mayangna Population in Nicaragua
OPEC Fund loan: US$200,000
Beneficiary country:
Total cost: US$550,000
Austrian Development Agency
The Austrian Relief Organization
Executing agencies:
The Austrian Relief Organization
Foundation for Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Region in Nicaragua (FADCANIC)
Beneficiary communities
Grant administrator:
Project Duration: 5 years