The United Nations refugees organisation announced on Thursday (2 August) that it has given one million US dollars to Nicaragua's revolutionary junta to help feed and clothe displaced citizens.
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Background: The United Nations refugees organisation announced on Thursday (2 August) that it has given one million US dollars to Nicaragua's revolutionary junta to help feed and clothe displaced citizens. The announcement came as the former Prime Minister of Portugal, Dr. Mario Soares left Lisbon at the head of an international socialist delegation which plans to assess Nicaragua's problems after last month's revolution. The destruction caused by nearly two months of fighting to overthrow President Anastasio ??? has left the country's economy in ruins, and the junta now has a difficult task finding the money for its extensive reconstruction programme.
SYNOPSIS: Much of the industry in the capital of Managua was destroyed during the fighting. The junta estimates it needs two and a half thousand million dollars for immediate reconstruction programmes. So far only Venezuela has made a firm offer of a loan of twenty-three million dollars. Nicaragua is depending on Venezuela for help with the grave shortage of food and medicines. The International Red Cross, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Cuba and the United States have set up airlifts to bring in much-needed supplies, but the amounts are far short of Nicaragua's long-term needs.
The Sandinista-led junta hopes that US recognition of the new government will mean American investment in Nicaragua continuing at pre-Somoza levels. The country's private banks were virtually ruined by the civil war and have been nationalised. ...Just before his downfall, the central bank issued cheques worth thousands of dollars to President Somoza.
Tens of thousands of people who fled the country during the fighting are now returning. The Ministry of Public Welfare says one million people need daily food supplies. This year's harvest will be severely disrupted because the civil war coincided with crop-sowing.
The new government has declared a national emergency, initially lasting thirty days, with heavy prison sentences for black marketeers, smugglers and anyone who tries to influence market prices. The major question now is whether the middle class and private sector, who proved valuable allies to the Sandinistas in the revolution, will respond to the country's needs by promoting a healthy economic climate in Nicaragua. For nearly two and a half million Nicaraguans much now depends on the backing the new government receives from foreign countries and international institutions.