March 18, 2008 11:15 ET

CIDA: Minister Oda Announces Health Projects to Help Honduran Youth

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that the Government of Canada is taking action to help youth and other marginalized groups in Honduras through new school-feeding, health, and water and sanitation initiatives.

"These projects will provide visible, long-term health benefits to Hondurans and provide the communities with a better opportunity to improve their livelihoods and overall sustainable development," said Minister Oda. "For instance, Canada's contribution to the World Food Programme will help them reach their goal of feeding 400,000 students over four years. Reducing hunger and malnutrition is a prerequisite for long-term educational development."

The Minister is currently in Honduras, visiting initiatives funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Minister Oda made this announcement following meetings with a number of Honduran officials and ministers including Karen Zelaya, Minister of Cooperation; Marlon Breve, Minister of Education; Elza Palau, Minister of Health and Jorge Mendes, General Manager of the National Water Systems.

The contributions announced today include:

- $10 million to UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund to help the Government of Honduras offer quality HIV/AIDS prevention and other health and reproduction services and programs for adolescents and youth;

- $4 million to UNICEF in support of the maintenance of water and sanitation systems and the promotion of good hygiene practices throughout the country;

- $4 million for the World Food Programme's School Feeding Program, which will increase school enrolment, increase the number of girls in school and ensure that students receive a healthy lunch every day.

This is Minister Oda's third visit to the region following Prime Minister Harper's visit in July 2007. She reaffirmed the Prime Minister's position on promoting the Canadian fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights ad the rule of law, and Canada's commitment to deepen our relationship with the Americas.

For more information about these and other Canadian aid initiatives in Honduras visit CIDA's website.


All three projects are aligned with the Canadian International Development Agency's programming strategy for the country. Canadian development assistance in Honduras is focused on governance in education, health and environment.

- Canada, UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund are partnering again to help the Government of Honduras offer quality HIV/AIDS prevention and other health and reproductive services and programs for adolescents and youth. This joint initiative will build on the successes and relationships developed during the two past projects involving these organizations in Honduras. Over the next five years, the $10 million Municipal Services for Adolescent Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Project will ensure that individuals and organizations in almost fifty municipalities-including community leaders, civil society organizations and health care providers-receive proper training, and overall support to deliver quality sexual and reproductive health services, and HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy prevention information. This project will assist over 45,000 youths directly and provide an indirect benefit to over 250,000 youths.

- Canada's $4 million contribution over three years to the UNICEF Water and Sanitation Project will increase the amount of clean water available to rural communities who do not have easy access to potable water. Along with the planned hygiene and sanitation programs, this project will complement UNICEF's Infant Survival and Development Country Program. In other words, one of the key results will be a reduction in child mortality rates. With this funding, UNICEF will build the capacity of local communities to manage, regulate and control potable water and sanitation services through training courses; change hygiene practices through sanitary education in schools, households and communities; advocate for better services for populations excluded from access to safe water and sanitation; and strengthen the country's emergency response capacity to meet water and sanitation needs during emergencies. This project will positively impact over 100,000 people.

- Canada's $4 million contribution over two years to the World Food Programme's School Feeding Program in Honduras will help this organization reach their goal of feeding over 400,000 students over four years in 36 municipalities. The provision of food will serve as an added incentive for families to send children to school. By increasing the attendance of both boys and girls in schools, the project will ensure that short-term hunger does not diminish children's learning capacity and has an overall positive impact on their education. The World Food Programme's School Feeding Program has already demonstrated in the past few years its effectiveness by reducing repetition and dropout rates in Honduras, which are key goals of the Education For All program in Honduras. The food aid will be accompanied by a deworming program for students. The organization will also work with the Honduran Government to enhance its capacity to implement the national school feeding program.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Joanna Bailey
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534 (electronic version of document)