Caritas Honduras calls for transparency in Covid-19 aid distribution
Caritas Honduras has called for transparency in the distribution of Covid-19 assistance, which, according to a crescendo of accusations, has been used for political purposes in the impoverished country rife with corruption.
Fr German Calix, director of Caritas Honduras, told Catholic News Service that the Church’s charitable arm wanted an investigation to “prove or disprove” accusations of medical supplies being purchased at inflated prices and local officials – responsible for providing food to people in quarantine – only offering assistance to those affiliated with the political party in power.
“The accusations are so great and so frequent that the government is obliged to investigate,” Fr Calix said.
In a strongly worded statement, Caritas’ youth ministry said, ‘It’s a popular outcry to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. But the outcry is equally strong to stop the other virus: corruption, which has produced so much damage in our society and is one of the causes of poverty in Honduras’.
The statement, issued on 30th April with the title ‘The pandemic lays bare corruption’, continued, ‘The phantom of a worsening poverty…makes it so the population is deeply suspicious and sensitive to all that the abuse of public positions means’.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has addressed the Covid-19 crisis by declaring a quarantine and providing food assistance, which is distributed on the local level to people in their homes.
The accusations follow an old pattern of political parties providing assistance in exchange for support.
Picture: Men sleep on a pavement in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on 23rd April 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. (CNS photo/Jorge Cabrera, Reuters).