Honduras is one of the poorest, most vulnerable countries in the world. The poverty rate in Honduras is 66 percent. In rural Honduras, approximately one in five lives in extreme poverty; this means a salary of less than 1.90 U.S. dollars a day.
It is difficult to build businesses and add jobs in Honduras. A World Bank report ranked countries by ease of doing business and successful enforcement of contracts. The report ranked Honduras 125th and 179th out of 185, respectively. Violence has been one of the main obstacles to development and poverty reduction in Honduras. In 2011, the United Nations labeled Honduras the murder capital of the world. As of 2014, the homicide rate was still one of the highest in the world, at 67 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
The country is also vulnerable to national disasters such as hurricanes and droughts. The country struggles to mitigate these shocks and lacks risk management mechanisms and social safety nets.
Honduras faces the high levels of economic inequality. In rural areas, homes are small and dilapidated and animals and humans frequently live in close quarters. Many families do not have toilets or access to clean water, and access to medical care is limited.
The World Bank has implemented a new framework for aid in Honduras for the years 2016-2020. With a current portfolio of more than 990.5 million U.S. dollars, the World Bank Group is seeking to expand social programs, improve rural productivity, strengthen institutional capacity, strengthen resilience to natural disasters, increase access to financing and build the capacity of local governments to prevent crime and violence. Though the violence in Honduras shows no signs of ceasing, the international community will continue doing what it can to decrease the poverty rate in Honduras and provide people with essential resources. International aid could be pivotal to lowering the poverty rate in Honduras.
– Hannah Seitz