The Court of Auditors said that the EU’s development aid to Honduras was mismanaged and lacked overlapping support. The EU provided about €119 million in 2007-2015, with the aim to help with poverty reduction and tackle the problem of deforestation and a sky-high murder rate but the auditors’ report concluded that instead “poverty had increased, the areas of forest decreased, and there is still widespread violence with a very high homicide rate”.
The Luxembourg-based auditors said that this mismanagement was caused by a variety of factors – both from the inside and outside the EU – including that “the EU delegation in Honduras lacked the necessary macroeconomic and public financial management expertise to manage budget support operations”. However, the report also says that it was clear upfront that there were “substantial risks” in Honduras due to an unstable macroeconomic framework and “weak public financial management”.
The auditors pointed out that “the Commission did not always react consistently when the partner country did not respect the budget support eligibility conditions (whereby) this sent contradictory messages that could be detrimental to aid effectiveness.” The report also added that “the Commission’s approach was insufficiently focused because the financial assistance spread over many areas, thus increasing the risk of jeopardizing its impact.
“We found shortcomings in the tools used by the Commission to monitor the performance of the EU actions.” Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world being ranked 131 out of 188 countries on the United Nations human development index. The EU is the country’s fourth largest aid donor with approximately 11 percent of the country’s development aid coming from the block.