EU aid to Honduras has helped with a number of positive developments, but the overall situation in the country remains worrying, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. Poverty has increased, the area of forest has decreased, and there is still widespread violence with a very high homicide rate.
The auditors assessed the European Commission’s management of development support to Honduras and the extent to which its objectives had been achieved. Overall EU aid increased from €223 million for the 2007-2013 period to €235 million for the 2014-2020 period. The priority sectors examined were poverty reduction, forestry, and security and justice.
EU action was relevant and generally delivered the expected outputs, say the auditors, but difficult circumstances in the country and a number of management weaknesses hindered its impact. The Commission’s approach was insufficiently focused, while financial assistance was spread over many areas, which increased the risk of jeopardising its impact. They also found shortcomings in the Commission’s monitoring.
“Honduras faces significant development challenges,” said Bettina Jakobsen, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “To strengthen the EU’s approach, the Commission needs to enhance both its consistency and its focus.”