Mission Honduras

Poverty in Honduras

Honduras is widely considered to be one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. According to the World Bank, almost half the population is living in extreme poverty (on less than a dollar a day) and the country is still struggling to recover from the destruction of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which affected 80% of the Honduran people. The country's economy is improving, but so slowly that they can't make a "powerful advance against poverty".

The United Nations World Food Programme says that most of the people living in rural areas are unable to grow or buy enough food for their families to eat properly. 22% of the population is malnourished. Not having access to "basic services, such as health, education, water, and sanitation" does not help the situation either. For example, only 68% of Honduran children finish primary school.

The Good News

According to the World Bank, not all the news is bad. In the last ten years some progress has been made in the following areas:

- Vaccination programs reached virtually the entire population

- Maternal mortality fell from 182 per 100,000 live births to 108 per 100,000, a 38 percent reduction

- Chronic malnutrition in children aged 1-5 fell from 44 percent in 1987 to less than 33 percent in 2001

- Primary school attendance rose from 78 percent in 1980 to 85 percent in 2002.

Sources and More Information

World Bank - Honduras

World Food Programme - Honduras

State Department - Honduras Country Report