Despite economic progress in Honduras, poverty, inequality and violent crime continue to severely hinder development and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 on zero hunger and improved nutrition.
Honduras is a low-middle-income country with more than 60 percent of the population living in poverty. In rural areas, one out of five Hondurans lives in extreme poverty. Poverty levels have risen due to violence and climate hazards, including flooding (caused by severe rainfall and storms), drought and land degradation, which occur often and disproportionally affect poor and vulnerable people. The country’s inconsistent moderate economic growth, growing levels of inequality and poverty, violence, displacement and limited access to basic social services are some of the main factors leading to increased food insecurity and malnutrition.
Honduras' economy is based on agriculture, commerce, manufacturing and basic services. It is highly vulnerable to climatic risks such as hurricanes, storms, droughts and floods. According to a study conducted by WFP in 2017, the combined impact of malnutrition, overweight and obesity on the population represented a loss of US$2.3 billion or 10 percent of GDP. Future costs of the double burden of malnutrition – the combined impact of undernutrition and overweight/obesity – are estimated at US$618 million yearly for 2018-2081, equal to 2.7 percent of annual GDP.
Honduras has made some progress towards achieving the target for stunting, but 19 percent of children under 5 years of age are still affected – higher than the average for the Latin America and the Caribbean region (11.3 percent). Micronutrient deficiencies are also a serious concern: in 2019, two in five children and one in five women of reproductive age had anaemia. Overweight and obesity have also increased in women of reproductive age, affecting over 60 percent in 2019.
The recurrence of droughts and floods in recent years has limited food availability, especially for those dependent on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. This has increased the humanitarian needs of Hondurans.
In 2022, climatic, political and health crises generated recurrent acute food insecurity, reducing the purchasing power of households due to crop and material damages and losses, and unemployment, forcing families to use negative coping strategies to access food.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is contributing to the achievement of SDG 2 in Honduras by supporting the Government’s efforts to improve nutrition, enhance the resilience of smallholder farmers and assist families affected by rapid and slow-onset disasters.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Honduras
WFP is supporting the Government’s efforts to provide one daily nutritious, diversified meal, prepared with fresh, locally grown ingredients, to pre- and primary school children, with a special focus on children living in the most food insecure areas (Dry Corridor and La Mosquitia).
WFP supports the Government in its strategies and efforts to improve nutrition during the “first 1000 days”, particularly through the prevention of stunting and micronutrient deficiencies. Children aged between 6 and 23 months and pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls from selected indigenous communities in the Dry Corridor receive specialized nutritious food. This is complemented by nutrition education.
WFP supports smallholder farmers and agricultural laborers, with a special focus on women, in creating or rehabilitating climate-resilient assets to improve their productivity, income, livelihoods, nutrition and food security.
WFP stands ready to complement government response to sudden and slow-onset disasters in targeted municipalities by providing food assistance (cash and in-kind) and increasing capacities in supply chain management and emergency preparedness and response.
WFP provides technical assistance to enhance the capacity of government institutions at national and subnational level in disaster risk reduction, monitoring and reporting on SDG2, and promoting gender equality. WFP also supports primarily women smallholder farmers with technology and innovations to improve their livelihoods.
As emergencies multiply, school meals buffer the fallout
Story | 16 September 2022
Central America: Meet people’s needs and tackle root causes of migration, says report
Story | 23 November 2021
Opinion: Why the UN’ s ‘Code Red’ climate change warning is already a reality for many
Story | 11 August 2021
Honduras: Climate change, coronavirus and caravans
Story | 21 April 2021
Honduras: Parents skip meals so their children can eat
Story | 22 February 2021
World Aids Day: ‘Without food, antiretrovirals don’t work’
Story | 1 December 2020