More information about Honduras is available on the Honduras Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Honduras is an ally of the United States, and Hondurans historically view the United States favorably. Honduras hosts a joint military unit with U.S. service members at Soto Cano Air Base that builds partnerships with Honduras and other Central American countries to foster security, stability, and prosperity for the Americas. The country faces formidable challenges, including weak institutions, endemic corruption, pervasive poverty, food insecurity, high rates of violence including gender-based violence, impunity, citizen insecurity, shrinking space for civil society, lack of respect for human rights, inequitable access to economic opportunities and social services, extreme vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All of these challenges disproportionately impact marginalized communities, and drive irregular migration as well as forced displacement. They also contribute to the expansion of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). U.S. policy in Honduras focuses on addressing those challenges.
Likewise, U.S. assistance to Honduras promotes a healthy and open economy capable of sustainable growth, an improved business and investment climate, and the well-being and security of the Honduran people. The United States also encourages and supports Honduran efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change. Simultaneously, the United States works with Honduras to address regional challenges that include ones like those Honduras faces at home: irregular migration and forced displacement, the fight against corruption, transnational criminal networks, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking in persons.
U.S. Migration Policy towards Honduras and the Region
The U.S. Strategy to Address the Root Causes of Migration and the U.S. Collaborative Migration Management Strategy guide U.S. diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance in Honduras and across Central America. These strategies support Honduras address the challenges the country faces with internal displacement as well as it is both a source of northward migration and transit country for migrants and refugees from the region and the world. The United States and Honduras are also members of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM). RCM member countries commit to addressing issues of international migration in a multilateral context that respects orderly movements and human rights.
The Root Causes Strategy focuses on a coordinated, place-based approach to address the underlying causes that push Central Americans, including many Hondurans, to migrate. This strategy lays out a framework to use the policy, resources, and diplomacy of the United States, and to leverage the expertise and resources of a broad group of public and private stakeholders, to build hope for citizens in Honduras that the life they desire can be found at home. The strategy contains five pillars:
- Pillar I: Addressing economic insecurity and inequality;
- Pillar II: Combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law;
- Pillar III: Promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press;
- Pillar IV: Countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations; and
- Pillar V: Combating sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence.
The Collaborative Migration Management Strategy (CMMS) works together with the Root Causes Strategy as the first U.S. whole-of-government effort focused on reducing irregular migration to the U.S. border by promoting safe, orderly, and humane migration; improving access to protection for those fleeing persecution and torture; and strengthening migration cooperation and responsibility sharing throughout North and Central America. The CMMS aims to meet urgent humanitarian needs, enhance international protection and protection within Honduras, promote temporary labor programs, strengthen lawful pathways for those who choose to migrate or are forcibly displaced from their homes in Central America, and foster humane border management practices.
The CMMS includes eight distinct lines of action to strengthen collaborative migration management across North and Central America, including Honduras:
- Stabilize populations with acute needs;
- Expand access to international protection;
- Expand access to protection in countries of origin;
- Expand third country labor migration programs with worker protections;
- Assist and reintegrate returned persons;
- Foster secure and humane management of borders;
- Strengthen regional public messaging on migration; and
- Expand access to lawful pathways for protection and opportunity in the United States.
U.S. Assistance to Honduras
Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. government works to improve prosperity, democratic governance, and security, so Honduran citizens, especially youth, are inspired to stay and invest in their future in Honduras. USAID’s integrated approach to addressing the root causes of irregular migration incorporates programming in agriculture and food security, education, workforce development, climate change resilience, anti-corruption, local governance, justice sector strengthening, and violence prevention, including gender-based violence prevention. All of USAID’s programming now promotes rootedness in Honduras and supports reintegration of returned migrants into their communities. In addition, USAID funds the International Organization for Migration to provide for their safe and dignified return. USAID continues to expand its partnerships with local civil society organizations and private sector companies to support local ownership of development projects, build local capacity, and increase sustainability. In addition to long-term development assistance, USAID, through its Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, also provides emergency resources to assist with disaster response and recovery, and acute food insecurity crises.
The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) supports the Root Causes Strategy by strengthening border security through the use of technology and leveraging U.S. government interagency expertise; through professionalization of the Honduran National Police; by supporting the Public Ministry’s technical capabilities to detect and prosecute corruption and the court system’s ability to track such cases; and along with USAID and other U.S. government agencies focusing multiple community-level violence prevention and crime responses in violent “hotspot” communities.
The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) supports CMMS implementation through international organization (IO) partners to meet humanitarian needs of refugees, asylum seekers, vulnerable migrants, and internally displaced persons (IDPs). PRM activities include support for shelter, healthcare, mental health and psycho-social assistance, education, livelihoods, and assistance with access to documentation and other protection challenges. Through its IO partners, PRM also supports the Government of Honduras to build its asylum system and other humane migration management capacities, as well as to develop a national IDP response.
The United States has donated over 6.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Honduras through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative since June 2021. The U.S. government, primarily through USAID, has provided over $53 million for supplies and technical assistance for COVID-19 testing and case management, infection prevention and control, clinical training, new and refurbished infrastructure for biology laboratories and clinics, ventilators, oxygen machines, and personal protective equipment. This assistance also includes support to the Ministry of Health to implement a national vaccine deployment plan. The United States, through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP), also donated 18 ultra-low temperature freezers to store vaccine doses and facilitate vaccinations throughout the country.
DoD collaborated with USAID to provide significant humanitarian and technical assistance to help Honduras. In 2022, the Department of Defense approved 17 humanitarian projects worth more than $425,000. These projects included providing the Comité Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO), the Honduran government’s disaster preparedness and risk mitigation institution, with much-needed personal protection equipment and supplies to combat the anticipated increase in COVID cases associated with the emergency response. Additionally, U.S. defense officials engaged with Honduran counterparts in multiple planned integrated support operations. One example is the Health Engagement Assistance Response Team (HEART), which provided medical care to 1,880 patients through collective efforts between U.S. and Honduran medical professionals. Lastly, the USNS Comfort hospital ship visited Honduras in early November 2022, offering dozens of medical and veterinary engagements, subject matter expert exchanges, and other beneficial programs and activities for the Honduran people.
Joint Task Force Bravo, a military unit comprised of approximately 600 U.S. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines and 600 U.S. and Honduran civilians co-located with Honduran forces at Soto Cano Air Base near Comayagua, provided medical personnel to treat over 11,000 patients and 6,000 livestock during 30 medical and veterinary events providing communities an average of $27,000 in aid per event in 2022. In 2021, this effort treated over 4,992 patients during 27 medical events providing communities an average of $15,000 in aid per event.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Due to the combined impacts of the pandemic and two hurricanes in recent years, the Honduran economy contracted by nine percent in 2020, but grew by 12.5 percent in 2021, supported by domestic reconstruction spending and strong U.S. growth. The United States is Honduras’ most important economic partner. The United States works with Honduras to address constraints on inclusive economic growth. Total (two-way) goods trade between the two nations totaled $11.6 billion in 2021. The U.S. exported $6.4 billion in goods to Honduras in 2021, while Honduras exported $5.2 billion in goods to the United States, making the U.S. goods trade surplus with Honduras $1.2 billion. Hondurans consumed $1.4 billion in U.S. services exports in 2021, while exporting $788 million in services to the United States.
The U.S.-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force between the United States and Honduras in 2006. It eliminates most tariffs and other barriers for U.S. goods destined for the Central American market, provides protection for U.S. investments and intellectual property, and creates more transparent rules and procedures for conducting business. CAFTA-DR also aims to eliminate tariffs within Central America and to facilitate increased regional trade, benefiting U.S. companies that manufacture in Honduras. Leading U.S. exports to Honduras include petroleum products, textile and fabrics, cotton yarn, electrical equipment, chemicals, synthetic staple fibers, computer and electronic products, machinery, and food products and cereals (corn, soybean meal, wheat, and rice). Nearly all textile and apparel goods that meet CAFTA-DR’s rules of origin are duty-free and quota-free, offering opportunities for U.S. fiber, yarn, fabric, and apparel manufacturers.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Honduras was $1.2 billion in 2021, up from $1.1 billion in 2020.
Education and Public Engagement
The United States’ public diplomacy initiatives in Honduras support the country’s continued economic development, enhanced educational opportunities, and respect for human rights, as well as promote closer ties between the United States and Honduras. Through workforce development activities, such as entrepreneurship training and English-language learning programs, the Embassy supports an enhanced Honduran labor force and fosters inclusive economic growth. The Embassy additionally promotes transparency and anticorruption by cultivating professionalism within the media and supporting press freedoms in Honduras. The Embassy works closely with Honduran higher education institutions and academia, enhancing the quality of local education through English-language resources and capacity-building programs. In partnership with historical institutions, cultural centers, and civil society organizations, the United States supports Honduras’ diverse cultural heritage and efforts to restore cultural heritage sites, with the overall objective of increasing pride in national identity, creating opportunities for greater prosperity through tourism, and reducing irregular migration. As part of the commitment to maintain the cultural heritage of Honduras, both governments in 2019 signed a “Cultural Agreement Implementation Plan” Memorandum of Understanding to govern import restrictions and to prevent the pillage, looting, and theft of archeological and ethnographic property.
The Embassy leverages strong relationships with Binational Center partners, Instituto Hondureño de Cultura Interamericana (IHCI) and Centro Cultural Sampedrano (CCS), to deepen our connections to vital target audiences such as students and academics, entrepreneurs, creative arts and community leaders, and marginalized populations including the LGBTQI+ community, persons with disabilities, and marginalized racial, ethnic, and Indigenous communities, including Afro-Hondurans, among others. Each Binational Center houses an American Space and an EducationUSA office, and regularly hosts events related to U.S. history, culture, education, and innovation. IHCI has locations in Tegucigalpa, Comayaguela, and Comayagua, and CCS has centers in San Pedro Sula and Siguatepeque.
Honduras’ Membership in International Organizations
Honduras is an active member of international organizations including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank. The United Nations General Assembly elected Honduras to the Human Rights Council for a three-year term starting in January 2022.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Honduras maintains an embassy in the United States at 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036 (tel. 202-966-7702).
More information about Honduras is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Honduras Page
USAID Honduras Page
History of U.S. Relations With Honduras
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Honduras
Library of Congress Country Studies