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. U.S. policy in Honduras focuses on strengthening democratic governance; deterring irregular migration to the United States; responding to forced displacement and humanitarian needs; promoting respect for human rights, the rule of law, and free and fair elections; enhancing economic prosperity; combating corruption; and improving security in the country. U.S. assistance 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 works with Honduras to address regional challenges – including irregular migration, the fight against corruption, transnational criminal networks, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking in persons, not to mention encouraging and supporting Honduran efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change.
Honduras faces formidable challenges: weak governance, endemic corruption, pervasive poverty, food insecurity, severe violence, citizen insecurity, shrinking space for civil society, lack of respect for human rights, inequitable access to economic opportunities and social services, and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges drive irregular migration as well as forced displacement and contribute to the expansion of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs).
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 are the principal frameworks guiding U.S. diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance in Honduras and across Central America. These strategies support Honduras in addressing the challenges the country faces as both a source of northward migration and transit country for migrants from the region and the world.
The Root Causes Strategy focuses on a coordinated, place-based approach to improve 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 is organized under 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 and is 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 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 North and Central America, foster humane border management practices, and reduce irregular migration.
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 USAID, the U.S. government is improving education, spurring inclusive economic growth, and strengthening democratic institutions and citizen security. As part of this effort, USAID supports an International Organization for Migration program to provide a safe and dignified return to Honduras for irregular migrants. USAID has responded to emerging challenges by helping students with school supplies and internet access so they can continue learning from home amid the pandemic; supporting at-risk youth with employment and psychosocial support; and building resilience to climate change among agricultural producers affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, through technical assistance and small grants to recover crop losses.
The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) is supporting the Root Causes Strategy by strengthening border security through the use of technology and leveraging USG interagency expertise, by supporting the Public Ministry’s technical capabilities to detect and prosecute corruption and the court system’s ability to track such cases, through a focus on community-level violence prevention and response via the Place-Based Strategy together with USAID and other USG agencies, and through professionalization of the Honduran National Police.
The United States has donated over 3.2 million doses of COVID 19 vaccines to Honduras through COVAX from June – September 2021. Through USAID, the United States has provided $36.9 million in COVID supplemental resources to provide 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.
Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Honduras in November 2020, causing severe flooding and mudslides, killing over 100 people, and leaving over 100,000 homeless. The United States, through the Department of Defense and USAID, provided over $27.8 million in internal disaster assistance and emergency humanitarian support to meet immediate food, shelter, and economic needs. Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B) conducted 200 missions in response to the storms, recovering 736 people, delivering 194,860 pounds of lifesaving supplies and 382,490 pounds in total supplies. In addition, DoD approved seven humanitarian projects worth more than $216,000. These projects provided COPECO with much needed PPE and supplies to combat the anticipated increase in COVID cases associated with the emergency response. In addition, at the request of the Honduran Government, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated a Flood Mitigation Study for the Sula Valley to identify future preventive measures for that vulnerable region, and Department of Defense officials have engaged with Honduran counterparts on bridging techniques to address this critical capability during disaster response. USAID continues to provide humanitarian assistance to address growing food and economic insecurity.
Bilateral, regional, and humanitarian assistance through the Department of State and USAID averaged $164.7 million per year (FYs 2019-2020). In addition to the international disaster assistance for hurricane response noted above, the Department of State and USAID provided an additional $68.3 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to the COVID 19 pandemic, improve livelihoods, and support urgent humanitarian and protection needs of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, and other vulnerable populations.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Due to the combined impact of the pandemic and two tropical storms, the economy contracted by 8 percent in 2020, disrupting nearly a decade of growth. The economy is expected to recover moderately in 2021, supported by domestic reconstruction spending and strong U.S. growth. The United States is Honduras’ most important economic partner. The United States is working with Honduras to address constraints on inclusive economic growth. Total (two way) goods trade between the two nations was $8.1 billion in 2020. The value of U.S. goods exported to Honduras was $4.2 billion in 2020 while Honduras exported $3.9 billion in goods to the United States, making the U.S. goods trade surplus with Honduras $344 million. Hondurans consumed $685 million in U.S. services exports in 2020 while exporting $451 million in services to the United States.
The U.S.-Central America – 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 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. Trade Representative, U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Honduras (stock) was $1.3 billion in 2019, a 50.7 percent increase from 2018.
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.
Principal U.S. embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List [418 KB].
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