Sunday 24 September 2023

Honduras suffers from “chronic poverty” that affects 7 out of 10 people

The Central American country became a "factory for the poor" despite the million-dollar investment, according to an economist.

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Q24N (EFE) Honduras suffers from “chronic poverty” that affects 7 out of 10 people, despite the million-dollar investment aimed at reducing this scourge, which has turned the country into a “factory for the poor,” the director of the Foro hondureño Social de la Deuda Externa (Fosdeh) – Honduran Social Security of the External Debt, Mauricio Díaz.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world. Photo: Flickr

“Unfortunately, Honduras continues to suffer from what we call chronic poverty, which means that 7 out of 10 people live in poverty, and 5 out of 10 are extremely poor,” said the director of the private forum in an interview with EFE.

At least 6 million Hondurans are poor, a “very tough” situation that has driven irregular migration and reflects that poverty in Honduras is an “unresolved issue,” Díaz said.

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He regretted that there are no “visibles” and that “steps are not seen” to quickly change the high rates of poverty in Honduras, where jobs are being lost “massively” and the execution of public investment has fallen.

Inequalities are deepening

The social spending carried out by different governments and the investment in the “failed” Poverty Reduction Strategy, according to the economist, far from being translated into an improvement in the quality of life of the population, have contributed to the “deepening of inequalities and the perpetuation of poverty” in Honduras.

“In the name of the poor and poverty, in recent years we have used between 700,000 million and 900,000 million lempiras (between US$28.5 million and US$36.5 million dollars), but the result is terrible, there are more poor,” in Díaz’s opinion.

Diaz continued that poverty has served as a justification for different governments to approve high public budgets, despite the fact that the strategy to reduce the number of poor “does not exist in real terms.”

Poverty in Honduras, a country of 9.7 million people, increased to 73.6% in 2021, an increase of 10 percentage points compared to 63.7% in 2001, according to the latest official data, cited by the Social Forum on External Debt.

Poverty Breaks Out

Without specifying figures, Díaz indicated that, with the passing of the devastating Hurricane Fifi, in 1974, the poverty rate in Honduras increased, as well as indebtedness and “inadequate” public investment.

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“In Honduras, there have been no public policies to combat corruption, poverty or improve development paths, since the economy is sustained by remittances sent by thousands of Hondurans who have emigrated, whose money has contributed to the fact that the number of poor is not older,” he explained.

Poverty, the economist emphasized, “crowns everywhere and when people have to wear second-hand shoes or underwear it is because the condition in which they live is critical” in the country, where public spending does not adequately address the growing needs of the population.”

Against this background, the director of Fosdeh stated that Honduras has become “a factory of impoverishment,” which also “limits the life expectancy of Hondurans”.

He advocated improving public and private investment, creating jobs and fighting corruption, one of the scourges that is largely the cause of the high levels of poverty in Honduras, where 2.3 million people have job problems.

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Honduras must “restart a path of public and private investment different from the one we have had,” emphasized Díaz, who also questioned “the absence of public policy” and the “waste and looting of the public treasury” in the country.

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