Photo: WFP/Gerardo Aguilar


Reeling From Violence and Poverty

Poverty is the root cause of hunger in Honduras.
Inequality, violent crime and climate extremes are making people even hungrier.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. While the country’s economy is highly vulnerable to climate risks like storms, droughts and floods. Violence and poverty continue to force families from their homes.


of the population lives in poverty

1 in 5

children are stunted


People received aid from WFP in 2022

Honduras Facts

Population:  10.6 million people

Geography & Climate:  Honduras is bordered by El Salvador and Guatemala to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the north and Nicaragua to the south. Honduras is hot and tropical in the coastal lowlands and temperate in the highlands.

Economy:  Honduras is a low-middle-income country with high poverty rates and extensive income inequality. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, commerce, manufacturing and basic services.

What is Causing Hunger in Honduras?

Climate Shocks
dried up crops
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. In the Photo: This micro basin in Honduras’ Dry Corridor was much smaller a few years ago, mainly due to deforestation. The Dry Corridor is not a desert, but is prone to droughts that are sometimes severe. This is why it’s important to manage rainwater.
Photo: WFP/Julian Frank

Climate Shocks Ruin Crops

Recurrent natural disasters are driving Hondurans, many of them small-scale farmers, further into poverty and hunger. Hurricanes and prolonged heavy rains ruin crops and cut communities off from other food sources and basic necessities. Prolonged droughts cause crops to wither and leave farmers without a harvest. In 2015, irregular rainfalls resulted in the loss of more than half of all the country’s crops. To cope, people have resorted to fleeing the country in search of land and work.

Honduras, Gracias a Dios neighborhood, Santa Bárbara Department, 11 February 2021 In the Photo: when Marlene’s youngest daughter, Genesis, became ill and they had no money to buy medicine, the family began collecting scrap metal, cans, and plastic bottles. After walking their community for many hours, they manage to collect up to five pounds of scrap metal, but for every pound they get paid 2 lempiras, or 8 cents on the dollar. With that payment, Marlene buys a pound of cornflour, prepares tortillas, and feeds her children with salt or buys a bag of coffee and sugar. “I give them a little coffee and I better put them to sleep because I have nothing else to give them,” said Marlene, adding that “it is very difficult to see your children hungry and not have anything to give them.” Marlene Rosales and her four children (Cinthia, Jordin, José and Génesis) are among the millions of Honduran affected by the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and two hurricanes Photo: WFP/Gerardo Aguilar Marlene’s husband used to earn US$10 per day by working on the construction business, but he lost his job due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. For a while, her husband found a job in a woman‘s house, but that house was destroyed by the hurricanes. After the family was forced to return to Honduras, they have been making a living out of selling scrap metal. They make US$0.08 for every 2 pounds of scrap metal. ”It’s nothing, but at least it’s enough for a bag of coffee and sugar,” said Marlene. The socio economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and 2 hurricanes in late 2020 have severely affected the food security of millions of Hondurans. Hurricanes Eta and Iota affected some 4.5 million people and left damages estimated in US$1.9 billion, according to an assessment carried out by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Photo: WFP/Gerardo Aguilar

Families Living in Poverty Struggle to Cope

Extreme levels of poverty make it difficult for Honduran families to afford or access food. Low wages, unemployment and insufficient income to cover basic needs are pushing families to migrate. Skyrocketing inflation has strained the purchasing power of low‑income households, further limiting their access to healthy foods.

Nearly 60% of the population (4.9 million people) lives in poverty, while half a million children are stunted.

lines of people walking along street
The new report is a joint effort of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the U.N. World Food Programme and the Civic Data Design Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Photo: WFP/Julian Frank

Violence Causes Migration

Generalized violence is a leading cause of forced displacement. Gender-based violence in Honduras is also among the highest in the region, and it increased during the pandemic. This violence disproportionately affects women and girls across Honduras. Violence breaks communities apart, threatens livelihoods and prevents families from accessing the food they need for sustainable, healthy livelihoods.

Recent history


Hurricane Mitch

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country by washing away roads, farms and entire towns. The hurricane killed 7,000 Hondurans and displaced more than 1 million people. WFP responded immediately and provided 427,000 survivors with food assistance including High Energy Biscuits.

Photo: WFP/Oscar Duarte


Violence and Drought

In the early 2010s, Honduras faced one of the world’s highest per capita homicide rates as gang violence skyrocketed. Today, Honduras is the second most violent country in Latin America.

Drought hit Central America in 2014. In Honduras and Guatemala, up to 75% of the corn and bean crop was lost. Thousands of cattle died. WFP supported the worst-affected households with food assistance, including through asset restoration projects like the construction of water reservoirs.

Photo: WFP/Carlos Cader


Hurricanes and COVID-19

Hurricanes Eta and Iota further devastated the country in late 2020, displacing and damaging the lives of 4 million Hondurans and causing nearly $2 billion in damage. The COVID-19 pandemic further contributed to high poverty rates and forced migration. In response to these emergencies, WFP provided a mix of assistance including food, cash, vouchers and support for resilience-building projects.

Photo: WFP
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WFP’s Work in Honduras

Despite the challenges, here’s how the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is fighting hunger and helping communities build resilience to climate shocks in Honduras.

School Meals

WFP is supporting the government’s efforts to provide a daily nutritious meal, prepared with fresh, locally-grown ingredients, to schoolchildren – with a special focus on children living in the most food-insecure areas.


WFP provides nutrition supplements to mothers and children during the critical “first 1000 days” of life. Combined with nutrition education, the program aims to prevent stunting and micronutrient deficiencies.

Photo: WFP/Julian Frank
Resilience Building

WFP supports small-scale 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.

Photo: WFP/Miguel Vargas

You Can Help Save Lives

When you donate, you help us deliver critical food relief to the most vulnerable people in Honduras and other countries around the world. You can make difference in someone’s life – send food today.