WB/Honduras: Food and Nutritional Security for 12,000 Families Living in El Corredor Seco

November 11, 2015

US$30 Million Donation Seeks to Improve Food Production, Income Generation, Nutrition and Health in Rural Households

WASHINGTON, November 11th, 2015 – The World Bank approved a US$30 million grant to improve the food and nutritional security of 12,000 families in three departments located on El Corredor Seco, one of the most drought-stricken areas in Honduras, where 58 percent of children under the age of five suffer chronic malnutrition.

The grant, named “Corredor Seco Food Security Project”, will be implemented in 25 municipalities in Francisco Morazan, Choluteca and El Paraiso departments, in the country’s center and south.

“This project represents a very significant contribution to the fulfilment of the objectives of the Alianza para el Corredor Seco, with which the Government of Honduras seeks to lift 50,000 Honduran families from extreme poverty and reduce chronic malnutrition by around 20 percent among children under five years of age. This is, undoubtedly, a great step forward,” said Alden Rivera, Minister for Economic Development and coordinator of the Alianza para el Corredor Seco.

The first component of the project, to which US$22.2 million will be allocated, seeks to support small-scale producers and farmers so that they can increase their food production and incomes, and to increase the availability of quality food among families living in extreme poverty in rural areas. It will support the introduction of high value crops, the production of subsistence crops, marketing investments and the introduction of new production techniques. It will also improve small-scale farmers’ access to new markets, the acquirement of fair trade certificates, and the creation and management of rural organizations and buyers’ alliances.

The second component of the project, to which US$4.1 million will be allocated, seeks to improve household education relative to nutrition and hygiene issues. The project will contribute to an increase in the consumption of nutritional foodstuffs and an improvement in the nutritional situation of pregnant and lactating women, as well as children under five years of age.

Activities include the production of informative material on chronic malnutrition and its consequences, the organization of workshops with agricultural and health experts, as well as community leaders, on the best diet for pregnant women and children under five, and the need to consume local products. A further US$3.7 million will be used to monitor, evaluate and manage the project.

“This project is of vital importance because it aims at fighting poverty in rural areas, where most of the poor are concentrated, and to boost agriculture, one of the key sectors for the country’s economy,” said Giorgio Valentini, World Bank Representative in Honduras. This project, Valentini added, complements others that the World Bank has in place in Honduras to increase the productivity and competitiveness of small-scale producers (Comrural) and cocoa production.

Funding for the project comes from the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP), a multi-donor trust fund created in 2010 to improve food security in the world’s poorest countries, and falls within the Honduran Government’s initiatives for the Alianza para el Corredor Seco. The project, to which the Honduran Government will allocate US$5.8 million, will be implemented by Invest-H, a government agency charged with supporting strategic projects for the country’s socio-economic development.

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