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PRESS RELEASE April 30, 2019

New Project to Strengthen the Social Protection System in Honduras to Benefit More than 240,000 Families Living in Extreme Poverty


WASHINGTON, May 1st, 2019 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a US$30 million project to strengthen the social protection system in Honduras, which will directly benefit some 40,000 households living in extreme poverty in urban areas, and indirectly benefit more than 200,000 families in rural areas.

The Social Protection Integration Project will finance the implementation of reforms to the Bono Vida Mejor conditional cash transfer program. It will help strengthen its service provision, particularly by improving the efficiency of the program in urban areas. This initiative is a continuation of previous World Bank projects supporting social protection in the country. It will be implemented by the Sub Secretariat of Social Integration (SSIS, in Spanish) at Honduras’s Secretariat of Development and Social Inclusion (SEDIS).

“The Government of Honduras is committed to improving the effectiveness of the Bono Vida Mejor program by reforming its incentive structure in urban areas so that young people have greater skills, improve their employability and take advantage of productive opportunities in their transition to the labor market. The project also aims to integrate the operational structures of the urban and rural voucher to improve the quality of attention to families and the transparency of the program. These efforts will continue to help improve the quality of life of families living in extreme poverty,” said Rocío Tábora, Honduras’ Minister of Finance.

The project will focus on boosting attendance in secondary schools and expanding vocational training opportunities for young students in urban areas. Furthermore, it will finance the design and implementation of a pilot program of transition strategies in three urban municipalities aimed at providing tools to Bono Vida Mejor beneficiaries once they stop receiving conditional transfers.

It will also finance the design of transition strategies for beneficiaries in rural areas. These strategies seek to provide continuity to the positive outcomes of social protection programs in terms of poverty reduction.

“Conditional cash transfer programs in Honduras have made a positive contribution to poverty alleviation, increasing youth attendance at school and improving health and nutrition indicators in families living in extreme poverty. This project will strengthen social protection efforts, guarantee their long-term positive impact on the most vulnerable and facilitate progress toward greater productive inclusion,” said Boris Weber, resident World Bank representative in Honduras.

The US$30 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Integration of Social Protection project has a 30-year maturity period, including a 5-year grace period.

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