Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Approximately 60 percent of the country’s population lives in poverty and 23 percent of children suffer from stunting as a result of chronic malnutrition.
Consecutive years of drought in Central America’s Dry Corridor—a region that encompasses much of Honduras—have exacerbated food insecurity among poor households. The Caribbean coastal regions of Honduras are also susceptible to hurricanes during the tropical storm season, which typically lasts from June to November.
Irregular and below-average rainfall earlier in the year resulted in significantly reduced agricultural production in the Dry Corridor, leaving subsistence farmers more dependent on wages earned from seasonal employment in the coffee sector, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). However, low international coffee prices are expected to decrease coffee sector livelihood opportunities over the coming months. As a result, Dry Corridor households in Honduras are projected to face Stressed (IPC 2) levels of acute food insecurity through January, according to FEWS NET.
USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the UN World Food Program (WFP) to implement a conditional cash transfer for food program that aims to improve food security and nutrition, boost livelihoods opportunities, and increase capacity of drought-affected communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change or natural disasters.
The program provides cash transfers for food to more than 11,500 vulnerable individuals—including more than 1,700 drought-affected smallholder farmer households—in Francisco Morazán Department, in exchange for participation in activities that build and rehabilitate important community infrastructure. The cash transfers enable vulnerable households to purchase nutritious food already available in local markets.
In addition, the program provides various complementary services aimed at strengthening food security and preserving natural resources, including soil, forests, and watersheds.