May 25, 2017
The award ceremony: (from left) Vice-President of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, Chief Representative of the JICA Nicaragua Office, Hirohito Takata and President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega
The JICA Nicaragua Office staff
JICA has been awarded the Rubén Darío Order of Cultural Independence  by the Government of Nicaragua. Although the award was given to the president of the Inter-American Development Bank in 2016, JICA is the first international aid organization to receive this honor.
One of Nicaragua’s best-known poets, Rubén Darío is also considered to be the greatest Latin American poet of the nineteenth century. The highest honor that can be bestowed in Nicaragua, the Rubén Darío Order of Cultural Independence is given by the president to an individual or group that, through education, culture, technological innovation or the like, contributes to social development and strengthens relations between Nicaragua and the recipient’s country.
The award ceremony was held on May 5 at the Presidential Palace in Nicaragua and attendees included President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; Vice-President of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, Denis Moncada Colindres; State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kentaro Sonoura; and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, Ryukichi Imai; among others, with Chief Representative of the JICA Nicaragua Office, Hirohito Takata, also present.
Mr. Ortega expressed his gratitude for the long-term friendly relations and mutual cooperation between Nicaragua and Japan, and discussed contributions that Japan has made to Nicaragua in the areas of social development, including economic stimulation, health care and education; infrastructure; disaster risk reduction; and fighting climate change. The medal and certificate were then handed to Mr. Takata.
Mr. Ortega had already announced on December 15, 2016, that JICA would receive the award in a commemorative ceremony that celebrated 25 years of JICA cooperation with Nicaragua in 2016.
To date, JICA has provided a total of 228 million dollars in technical cooperation and 739 million dollars in grant aid to Nicaragua. ODA loan was resumed in 2013 after a 20-year hiatus. Training programs that commenced in 1964 continued even during the civil strife of the 1980s, and to date, 1,838 Nicaraguans have studied in Japan. Also, some 600 volunteers have been dispatched from Japan to Nicaragua since the civil strife ended in the 1990s .
JICA will continue to provide support for stable economic growth by reducing poverty and correcting disparities in Nicaragua, which has recovered from civil strife, earthquakes and political turmoil and is beginning to see firm economic growth.
1: La Orden de la Independencia Cultural Rubén Darío
2: Grant aid numbers are as of the end of March 2015. Other numbers are as of the end of March 2016.