A high level of corruption, enormous wealth gap, crime, natural disasters and long periods of US sponsored military rule have crippled the economy of Honduras, which condemned this Central American country to be the third poorest in Latin America. Since 2000, the government has achieved relative economic stability; however, it failed in reducing poverty and improving living standards of the poor with poverty levels remaining unchanged since 1997. Nearly two thirds of the poor are to be found in rural areas and only 69 percent of children are able to complete primary school. Unemployment and underemployment are grossly high, while income distribution and access to resources and services are highly unbalanced. Roughly 10 percent of the population earns 42 percent of the income. Around three quarters of the country’s poor people live in rural areas, many of which are landless or near-landless with limited access to arable land.
|Poverty Headcount Ratio at National Poverty line (percent of pop)||50.7% (2004)|
|Life Expectancy at Birth, total (years)||72 (2008)|
|Literacy Rate, adult total (percent of people aged 15 and above)||84% (2007)|
|External Debt Stocks (percent of GNI)||25.9% (2009)|
|capital (GNI per current US$)||$1,800 (2009)|
|GDP annual growth (percent)||-1.9% (2009)|
|Inflation Consumer Prices (annual percent)||5.5% (2009)|
|Population, total||7,465,998 (2009)|
|Rural Population||2,715,281 (2009)|
|Net ODA Received (percent of central government expenditure)||18.4% (2008)|
|(source: WB data)|
CSO Case Stories
Progress in a Supportive Environment for CSOs in Honduras
Honduras is today considered one of the most violent nations in the world, with an index of 84 people died violently per 100,000 inhabitants, even without the existence of a civil war or neighboring countries, there are no tribal disputes or social movement backlash on claims of territories. The country is marked by high inequality, impunity, corruption and the rise of criminal gangs linked to kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking in their emigration to the United States of America and of course, being in the center of the continent, with costs to the two ocean, drug traffic. This is a country where poverty levels are coming to extremes.
This is a republic that just four years ago, on June 28, 2009, the dominant political class, associated with corporate entrepreneurs made use of the National Congress and the armed forces to execute a coup that ended up destroying the fragile institutional democratic. Since then, rates of poverty, insecurity, human rights violations of all kinds, distrust of public and private institutions have increased alarmingly. The external and internal debt has reached scores of millions and millions of dollars and providing key public services, health, education, social investment generally have deteriorated immeasurably.
We seek to place in this study, those answers and conclusions which we found more consensus and closer to this complex reality of CSOs. Surely, with other criteria, we could conclude that there is an enabling environment for CSO development, or else conclude that CSOs are disappearing state repression, because both ends have found in this research effort, which, as noted in the preceding paragraphs, the complex political, social and economic differences generate. We prefer to present what we think, from the experience of ASONOG, as the most suitable and verifiable unbiased conclusions.
Asociación de Organismos No Gubernamentales (ASONOG)
Santa Rosa de Cupan
José Ramón Ávila, Director Ejecutivo
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