“Studies show that providing educational and economic opportunities for women will lead to improved, sustained living standards,” explained Warren Armstrong, General Manager of Asociación “Aldea Global” Jinotega. “Aldea Global is looking for a transformative approach in the role of women – with the support of her family – to contribute significantly towards their family’s economic resiliency during these ‘thin months.’”The work in Jinotega also has an important disaster risk reduction component. According to the 2011 Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) report, Nicaragua is the fourth most vulnerable country in the world to weather-related disasters like droughts and hurricanes. These disasters can cause massive crop destruction. To adapt to and mitigate this severe weather, Mercy Corps and Aldea Global will teach farmers ways to better prepare for natural disasters. “Climate-smart” gardens will allow women to conserve water for crop irrigation during dry periods, as well as protect crops from pest infestation and bad weather. As the specialty coffee community discovered the extent to which coffee farmers were struggling to feed their children, it became clear that the problem was too big for one company to tackle alone. According to Shauna Alexander Mohr, coordinator of the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition, “these five companies have forged an unprecedented effort to work together - with one another, with nonprofit partners, and with coffee farmers themselves - to make a difference. New kinds of partnerships are necessary for solutions to emerge in our common fight against seasonal hunger.” The Empowering Food Secure Communities is the inaugural project of the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition. The alliance is committed to bringing awareness to the issue of seasonal hunger and plans additional projects in other coffee producing countries and communities. For more information, visit: www.mercycorps.org/Coffeelands. About Asociación Aldea Global JinotegaAsociación “Aldea Global” Jinotega was formed by 22 small-scale farmers in 1992. Together small-scale farmers, leaders in services and profitable agricultural businesses, are working in harmony with God, the environment, social responsibility and gender equity to be instrumental in the progress of Nicaragua’s rural families. Today, Aldea Global has grown to 1,429 active members. About Coffeelands Food Security CoalitionThe Coffeelands Food Security Coalition is a new, collaborative project of leading companies in the specialty coffee industry that aims to develop, enable and disseminate solutions to seasonal hunger in coffee producing countries. About Mercy CorpsMercy Corps helps people turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve. Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team in 41 countries is improving the lives of 19 million people. For more information, see mercycorps.org.