Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
What are the current issues in Honduras
With one in every four children suffering from chronic malnutrition, one doesn't have to look far in Honduras to find a child in desperate need of food. Food insecurity does not only affect children. It also impacts all sectors of this country, especially the rural population, 75 percent of whom live in extreme poverty.
Honduras, a low-income food deficit country of 7.5 million people, is the third poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean. One-third of the population lives on less than one dollar a day. An estimated 1.5 million Hondurans face hunger, and recurrent natural disasters continue to threaten the most vulnerable people.
Honduras is one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters in the world and extreme weather conditions frequently contribute to the problem of food insecurity. Hurricanes and prolonged heavy rains ruin crops and can prevent access to food and other basic necessities.
Prolonged droughts every other year have affected the food and nutritional security of the most vulnerable populations in the southern and western regions of Honduras. These regions are characterized by environmental degradation, and include a high concentration of small-scale subsistence farmers. These droughts have caused a sharp decrease in the production of basic grains—crops much of the population relies on for basic survival.
Chronic malnutrition can reach 48.5 percent in rural areas, with a stunting rate of 34 percent.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a serious and growing threat for the country. It is estimated that 0.70 percent of the population lives with HIV/AIDS.
Honduras ranks 112th of 177 countries in the UNDP Human Development Index.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Honduras
WFP provides assistance through activities that improve food security, health, and education for the most disadvantaged rural population.
The Honduras programme’s primary objectives are to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition and to increase human development by improving the health, nutrition and education levels of children and other vulnerable groups. The WFP country programme is focused on the most food-insecure areas, mainly the western and southern regions of Honduras, identified by vulnerability analysis and mapping.
Honduras Country Programme
The WFP country programme was developed in accordance with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, the Government of Honduras´ Poverty Reduction Strategy and Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 and includes two main activities: school meals and support to malnourished vulnerable groups (mothers and children as well as HIV/AIDS affected and infected people).
The School Meals Programme in Honduras supports increased access to education and reduced gender disparity in access to education. Daily meals serve as an incentive for families to send children to school and ensure that short-term hunger does not diminish children’s learning capacity.
Programme implementation targets the poorest schools, and includes education, health, water, and sanitation interventions. WFP works in partnership with the Government of Honduras, which provided funding through WFP to cover more than 1.2 million children in pre-school and primary schools. WFP and its partners, primarily Canada and the private sector, support an additional 150,000 children. Through this joint effort, almost 1.4 million children received a meal in more than 17,500 schools throughout the whole country, becoming the third largest WFP School Meal activity in the world. Learn more
The Programme to Assist Vulnerable Groups supports improved nutrition and health among children, pregnant and lactating women, mothers, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other vulnerable groups.
WFP aims to enhance the Government’s capacity to establish and manage food assistance and hunger-reduction programmes. The poorest and most food-insecure areas will be targeted in order to create conditions wherein these vulnerable groups can satisfy their special nutritional needs and their health needs related to nutrition.
Purchase for Progress (P4P)
WFP Honduras recently launched a new activity: the Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, which contributes to poverty reduction in Honduras by supporting the agricultural production of small-scale farmers, many of whom are women, and connecting them to the local market. In keeping with the agency’s policy to buy locally whenever possible, WFP purchases basic grains directly from small-scale farmers to distribute through school meals.
Farmers participating in P4P will gain access to agricultural supplies, credit, and technical assistance in the entire supply chain of corn and beans. They will also receive training in institutional strengthening and capacity building. Learn more
n addition, WFP Honduras is also responsible for saving and protecting lives through emergency support related activities. Through the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO), WFP supports poor and indigenous people living in isolated areas exposed to recurrent natural disasters, resolves the immediate crisis situation, and provides emergency food aid to save lives. WFP in Honduras not only serves the immediate food needs of poor people who suffer from hunger, but also provides much needed support before and after emergencies, collaborating in a way that respects human dignity and promotes the self-sufficiency of individuals.
WFP has been present in Honduras since 1970. WFP has field and sub-offices in 17 departments that facilitate and monitor implementation and are responsible for enhancing partnerships with local governments and NGOs. 70% of WFP staff in Honduras is in the field and 52% of staff is female.
Featured Honduras publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
Looking for more publications on Honduras? Visit the Honduras publications archive.