Friday, May 17, 2013


It's hard to wrap your brain around...what would it mean to live on just over $1.00 a day?  Well...50% of Hondurans - that's the reality!  69% of the country live in poverty, and 50% live in extreme poverty.  According to a recent article:

 The National Institute of Statistics (INE) of Honduras yesterday reported that an estimated 5,889,545 Hondurans live in poverty. The figure represents 69 percent of the country's population of 8.5 million. A total of 4,213,746 Hondurans, or 50 percent of the population, live in "extreme" poverty. A total of 1,995,200 Hondurans live on less than Lps 20.42 (US$1) per day. The poverty has risen dramatically under the administration of President Porfirio Lobo (2010-2013). According to the Economic Commission for Latin American (CEPAL), the poverty rate in Honduras declined to 63.1 percent in 2008. The decline was largely attributed to expanded spending on social programs under the administration of President Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009) and significant increases in the amount of remittances from Honduran nationals in the United States and Europe to their families in Honduras.
Honduran economist Carlos Urbizo said that fundamental changes in the country are needed for the poverty situation to improve. "The fight isn't against poverty. It is against a political and economic system that generates poverty. The anti-democratic system that exists, the anti-capitalistic system that we have -- because it is mercantilist -- does not allow this situation to improve. If we do not change the political and economic system, we will continue with the same for the next 192 years," said Mr. Ubrizo, who added, "We have to begin to resolve this problem. It was easier 20 years ago than it is now, but now is easier than it will be in 20 years."

Mr. Urbizo also noted, "We talk a lot about poverty in urban areas, but when you understand the [poverty] rates in the interior of the country, it makes you want to cry. The rates are 70 percent, 80 percent, and perhaps even more. The poverty in [rural] areas is deplorable." Meanwhile, Congressman Augusto Cruz Ascencio, who is the head of Christian Democratic block in Congress, believes the [poverty] rates cited by INA are overly conservative. "There are more than 7 million Hondurans in the country who live in poverty in different forms and at different levels," he said. (5/15/13)

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