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Microcredit
EDUFINANCE - Schooling with a Microfinance Difference33 days ago
Honduras Update36 days ago
My Oral Village & Ultra Poverty57 days ago
Opportunity International Canada 2017 Annual Report84 days ago
Bob Sample - Ending Ultra-Poverty - Workshop Results135 days ago
More
Honduras Update
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 11-Nov-2018 | Viewed 122  Comments 0 | Source Opportunity International Canada

COUNTRY UPDATE


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HECD Logo

Like most places in Latin America, Honduras is a country full of people living in the dichotomy of almost complete access to information, coupled with an almost complete lack of opportunity. Roadside stalls and tiny general stores both have access to Google, and a shared inability to move beyond survival-mode. Which is why the projects supported by Opportunity International Canada are so important. We are striving to give those limited by their birthplace the chance to work towards a future the internet has helped them hope for. And right now, people in Honduras are looking for hope, because things are tough.


GAS HIKES


in late July, gas prices in Honduras went up to CDN$4.87 per US gallon, (roughly $1.28 per litre) and the government imposed increased taxes on buses and taxis, in response, public transport workers, drivers and university students went on strike, blocking major roads. After a week of negotiations, it was agreed to raise the price of passenger rates by 5%. in the capital of Tegucigalpa, buses prices rose from 22 to 33 cents and taxi vans from 70 cents to 75 cents. In the city of San Pedro Sula, costs increased from 43 to 55 cents per adult on buses.


RECORD LOW COFFEE PRICES


International coffee prices are still at record lows. The Honduran Coffee Institute reports the current average price per hundredweight of coffee is $159.68, compared to the average price in 2016-2017 of $188.97, a drop of 16%. As the main exporter of coffee in Central America and the sixth largest in the world, Honduras is feeling the pinch. Coffee is grown in 15 of the 18 departments in Honduras, and it provides employment to 1 million Hondurans, with up to 2 million at harvest. On top of low global prices, the last coffee harvest produced less grain than expected. Almost 99% of the 120,000 coffee producers in Honduras are small-to-medium producers. They have felt the weight of these blows, and the trickle-down effect has been fewer jobs and lowers wages for workers.


CUMULATIVE IMPACT


On their own, the impact of higher gas prices and reduced global coffee prices could be absorbed. However, in a country where national poverty levels hover at 60.9% and with one in five rural Hondurans living in extreme poverty, the cumulative effect has been an increase in the general cost of living - an increase few can afford, in April and October, this general discontent and hopelessness among the poorest in Honduras morphed into a phenomena now covered daily by worldwide media: the Honduran Migrant Caravan.
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Migrant Caravan


MIGRANT CARAVANS


In the second week of October, a ?migrant caravan? started in San Pedro Sula, a northern Honduran town with the country's highest rates of violence. Through Facebook and word of mouth, a group of some 160 people agreed to make the trek north through Guatemala, Mexico and then on to the US border together, seeking a new life. They hoped their large numbers would offer them some protection from bandits who target migrants on the route north, and also figured banding together would save them from having to pay the standard $7,000 - coyote -  middlemen, or people-smuggler charge.
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Migrant Caravan at the Border

However, in this global age of communication, the word got out farther than anyone could ever have imagined, and by the time the group crossed the border into Guatemala, their numbers had risen to more than 1,000. As this report goes to press, the caravan has made it as far as the Guatemala-Mexico border, with the UN estimating the number to have swollen to 7,200.

When interviewed, those in the caravan say they are attempting to leave poverty, violence, corruption and hopelessness behind. In the wake of the international coverage, at the end of October, another caravan formed in a Honduran town bordering with Guatemala. Most of the people who make it to the border are likely to claim asylum in the US, although President Trump has said he will not let caravan members in, calling them a "security threat". However, legally, the US must consider all cases of asylum seekers.

This is the third caravan starting out from Honduras in 2018.

PARTNER UPDATE


IDH has been providing small loans and training in Honduras for 44 years. Their mandate is to provide the working poor with the same access to financial services and the opportunity to grow their own endeavours that the rich have always enjoyed.

Today, in partnership with Opportunity International Canada, IDH operates out of 16 branches with 110 staff, serving 9,762 clients, with a loan portfolio of almost CDN$22.5M. The average loan is $2,301. 59% of clients are in the poor, rural areas, and 54% are women. In 2018 so far, they have enjoyed a client growth rate of 19% over 2017's numbers, while their loan portfolio has increased by 43%. With numbers like these, their operational sustainability is equally as impressive at 148%. Strategically, IDH plans to expand across the country to offer more struggling microentrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their businesses and, importantly, offer employment to others.

Read the entire article:  http://ragm.org/docs/IDH%20General%201118%20FINAL_348.pdf


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