State Secretary for International Cooperation presents an emergency pioneering project in Honduras tied to development of the education sector

The State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, has today presented a pilot project by Spanish Cooperation that ties in humanitarian action with the development of the education sector in Honduras. This is a novel emergency plan for early recovery and connectivity that is structured in three phases.

The announcement of this pioneering experiment has taken place during the visit by Her Majesty the Queen to the Oswaldo López Arellano elementary school in Sula Valley – which was completely destroyed – as part of her travel programme to the Republic of Honduras in a show of solidarity by the Spanish people in the wake of the devastation caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota and to deliver 120 tonnes of humanitarian material. These two storms have caused similar images to the tragic events of 1998 when Hurricane Mitch devastated the country.

The State Secretary for International Cooperation, who is accompanying Queen Letizia on this trip, presented the three phases of this new line of cooperation in the short, medium and long term to the President and Secretary of Education of Honduras, whereby Spain seeks, she said, “to contribute to the digital transformation of education in Honduras by enhancing the connectivity of the least privileged children”.

In the first emergency phase, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID) and 11 Spanish autonomous regions will contribute 250,000 euros to the call made by UNICEF to recover the education centres that have been damaged, some 550 in total, which have left more than 100,000 pupils unable to study around the country. This initial phase will consist of the refurbishment of the least damaged schools, the cleaning and disinfection of schools used as hostels and the delivery of kits containing educational material. The aim is for children to return to school safely as from February.

Subsequently, within a six-month period and with a maximum term of one year, the second phase will be implemented, involving the early recovery of infrastructures, principally of their water supply and sanitation and their refurbishment to make them more resilient. This plan will be financed through the e-Duc@ Fund of AECID – one of the new commitments of Spanish Cooperation, in the consideration of knowledge as a key factor of development – which will mobilise 1.5 million euros.

The third phase will focus on the digital transformation, once the two previous phases have been implemented. This seeks to take Internet connections to schools, providing access to platforms with digital content and teacher training, and to provide education centres with such devices as tablets. This process will include the support of the private sector, particularly of companies specialised in telephony, Internet and digital education content services, that wish to invest in the development of Honduras.

State Secretary Moreno Bau thanked the company Hispasat for its upcoming shipment of satellite connectivity services to be deployed in 15 affected areas, to be determined by the Honduran authorities. This equipment is valued at some 100,000 euros, which will enable security forces, NGOs and other bodies participating in the reconstruction works to be connected. “The idea is that this connectivity should then be deployed to schools and for children to have safe installations with Internet access”, declared Ángeles Moreno Bau.

Meanwhile, Spain is participating through experts in the National Reconstruction and Recovery Plan of Honduras, which could be in place by the end of January, and which includes the humanitarian-development nexus of Spanish Cooperation.





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