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Crisis in Honduras. Ongoing violence, climate shocks
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Crisis in Honduras. Ongoing violence, climate shocks

A woman with two kids manages to walk across the destroyed bridge over the Higuito River on November 19, 2020 in Copan, Honduras.


The impacts of COVID-19 and chronic violence have increased humanitarian needs and led to displacement. Here’s what you need to know about the growing crisis in Honduras.

Since 2020, more than a third of Hondurans are in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, food insecurity has increased because of successive climate shocks, rising food costs, and the economic impact of COVID-19. Nearly 3.3million people, or one third of Hondurans, were in crisis or experiencing worse levels food insecurity in the second half of 2021. Although Honduras does not experience the political armed conflict seen in most Watchlist countries this calendar year, there is still a lot of criminal gang violence. The unrest was fueled by allegations that senior politicians were financially benefited from the drug trade.

“Already vulnerable people in Honduras live in an evolving humanitarian crisis,” says IRC protection coordinator Zuleyma Chahin. “Women, children, the LGBTQ+ community, and returnees face ever growing conflict and risks, from the effects of climate change to the  impacts of COVID-19 and violence—at home and on the streets.”

A woman with two kids manages to walk across the destroyed bridge over the Higuito River on November 19, 2020 in Copan, Honduras.

A Honduran mother and her children manage to cross the remains of Hurricane Iota’s bridge.

Photo: Getty images, IRC

Humanitarian risks in 2022

Chronic violence will continue creating major displacements and posing particular risks for children and women.

Organizational crime and gang violence are two of the leading causes for displacement from Honduras. Despite a decline in homicides in recent years Honduras still ranks as the most dangerous country within the region, with 38 murders per 100,000 residents. Gender-based violence in Honduras, which is among the most violent in the region, has also increased since the pandemic. Indeed, Honduras is seeing a plague of “femicides”—a woman is murdered every 36 hours, mostly by an intimate partner. Many women are fleeing violence within their communities. Gang recruitment of minors has also contributed to an increase in families and unaccompanied children fleeing Honduras to Mexico. Some are planning to travel to the U.S. with their children. Major displacement will continue in 2022, as long as violence in Honduras is not stopped.

Climate-induced crises are likely to cause food insecurity as well as economic decline.

Category 5 hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Honduras in November 2020 and have had enduring impacts on farmers—and the public generally—by destroying subsistence farms, killing livestock by the hundreds of thousands and reducing agricultural production. The storms, among other shocks, led to higher levels of food scarcity while weakening the state’s capacity to cope with displacement. Honduras is also vulnerable to other climate shocks. In Honduras, prolonged droughts have hampered food production. In October 2021, thousands were affected by a wildfire in Guanaja.

Video of the top crises that the world should be paying attention to in 2022

COVID-19 addresses the health needs of people with chronic diseases.

Prior to the pandemic in Honduras, access to health care services was a problem, especially for rural and economically marginalized areas. The virus spread through poor infrastructure and inaccessible sanitation services. As a consequence, human needs for food, protection, and nutrition have increased. The pandemic’s health risks will continue to be a concern well into 2022, with only 39% of the population having been fully vaccinated by December 2021.

The IRC identified Haiti and Venezuela as countries most at-risk of suffering a worsening humanitarian situation, along with Honduras. Crisis in 2022 in Latin America, the Caribbean.

Learn more about the top 10 crises the world can’t ignore in 2022Learn more How the IRC selected these countriesClick here to download the complete document 2022 Emergency Watchlist reportfor data citations of all 20 crisis countries on IRC’s list.

Urgent focus needed for a new administration

The inauguration of Xiomara Castro, elected Honduras’s first female president, is scheduled for January 27 with U.S. vice president Kamala Harris, King Felipe VI of Spain and other world leaders slated to attend.

The IRC is calling for stronger international cooperationTo address the humanitarian crisis that has forced hundreds of thousands of people from Honduras to flee, El SalvadorGuatemala every year.

“Women, children and the LGBTQ+ community are the ones most affected and we have seen the demand for services skyrocket, while the organizations delivering aid need increased resources to be able to staff up to meet the urgent needs,” says Meg Galas, director for northern Central America at the IRC.

We have seen the greatest impact on women, children, and the LGBTQ+ community.

“It is essential to address the root causes of forced migration, a strategy that the current U.S. administration is adopting. At the same time, we need to acknowledge that it will take time for systems to change, but families across Honduras cannot wait—they have immediate needs to be safe and secure. We need to address these immediate needs too.”

How the IRC can help Honduras

The IRC helps people and families who are in vulnerable situations or at greater risk of violence and displacement. This includes those who have been forced to flee violence or return after seeking safety in another country. We provide cash to assist people with basic needs. We offer specialized support to survivors of gender-based violence, create safe spaces for women, youth, and the LGBTQ+ community, and also offer psychosocial counseling as well as social work support. We provide the latest information and support through trained moderators. CuéntaNosGlobal Signpost has created a digital platform called.

How you can help Honduras

Donate nowTo support the IRC’s life-changing work throughout Honduras, northern Central America and around the world. We are present in more than 40 countries providing emergency aid to those affected by crisis, including those on the 2022 Emergency Watchlist.


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