Honduras’ population of roughly 7.6 million people faces a number of challenges. While the economy is growing, poverty is still widespread. According to UNICEF, 52% of the country’s population lives in urban areas and 34.9% of urban population in Honduras lives in urban slums.Over 59% of Hondurans live below the poverty line and 36.2% below the extreme poverty line, according to recent statistics from the World Bank.
A number of other social problems spring from the widespread poverty:
Lack of access to education: Only 43% of girls and 34% of boys attend high school, according to UNESCO
Lack of access to clean water and sanitation: According to the World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, an estimated 1 million people in Honduras still lack access to clean water, and about 1.8 million live without access to basic sanitation.
Gangs and violent crime: A July 2012 UNESCO report states that more than 4,700 children and young people belong to gangs in Honduras. Gangs have specialized in drug trafficking, kidnappings, killings and extortion; they are responsible for much of the violence and insecurity present in Honduras. According to the latest report of the Observatory of Violence, the country recorded 20 violent deaths every day. According to the United Nations 'Global Study on Homicides', Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world, at 82.1 killings per 100,000 inhabitants. In five secondary schools in Central District, 91 per cent of teachers surveyed said that their schools are affected by this violence and harassment.
Poor healthcare and high child mortality: For the poorest 20% of the population, the under five mortality rate is 50 per 1,000 children. By contrast, the U.S. has an under five mortality rate of 7.5 per 1000.
Servant Partners staff are developing short term internships for those who seek to serve in these areas as well as assisting Hondurans who are called to serve the urban poor in unreached urban poor areas such as North Africa and South Asia.