To mark International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9th, we highlight our work in Honduras, one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Corruption, like poverty, is not inevitable. Christian Aid works in many countries to strengthen local organisations fighting against corruption in order to give power back to people and fight against inequality.
A strong civil society, that is organised, aware of their rights and which demands transparency and good governance, is fundamental for dealing with this epidemic.
In Honduras, for example we work to educate people to fight against corruption. Honduras ranks 135th on Transparency International's list of countries with perceived corruption. This perception has undoubtedly worsened. Last year, the Central American country was ranked 123rd. The money that Honduras loses every year in corruption is equivalent to 78% of the entire education budget and 153% of the health budget.
Honduras loses almost $1billion a year to corruption, money that could have been spent on medicines and schools.
Mobilising the masses
In the last few years, there has been an unprecedented social mobilisation against the plundering of public funds. And in this context was born the HondurACTion project, created by the union of efforts of several civil society organisations including Christian Aid, the Center for Human Development (CDH), the Center for Research and Promotion of Human Rights (CIPRODEH) and the Christian Organisation for the Integral Development of Honduras (OCDIH).
The project funded by the EU aims to strengthen civil society, especially young people and indigenous communities, as social auditors against corruption. In addition, the project aims to improve the quality of investigative journalism on corruption and even "vaccinate" against this disease from an early age in schools.
So far, organisations have received training on corruption and transparency, transparency commissions have been created in several municipalities, an investigation on the impact of corruption is being prepared, young people have been trained in auditing and popular communication against corruption and corruption. debates are held at the university on the fight against corruption.
Neither in Honduras, nor in the UK, can we allow corruption to be normalised. Projects like HondurACTion aim to strengthen civil society to root out this problem.