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Climate Change Is Trapping Hondurans in Poverty

Climate Change Is Trapping Hondurans in Poverty
A girl sleeps under a bridge following the passage of Hurricane Iota in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on November 21, 2020. Orlando Sierra / AFP / Getty Images

Nory Yamileth Hernández lost nearly everything when Hurricanes Eta and Iota flooded her home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

She and her three teenage children live in a tent under a bridge on the outskirts of the city, struggling to survive after the storms destroyed the inventory for her door-to-door lingerie sales business, as well as her customers' ability to pay for items purchased with credit.

Hernández, her children, and untold numbers of others like them are trapped in a cycle of extreme storms fueled by climate change, economic desperation, and gang violence, the AP reports.

Of Honduras' 10 million people, an estimated 4 million were impacted by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, and 3 million face food insecurity — six times higher than before the hurricanes, according to the World Food Program.

The climate-fueled cycle is compounded by dehumanizing Trump administration policies, including family separation and its so-called "remain-in-Mexico" asylum policies, all of which the Biden administration is working — at varying speeds — to undo.

Biden also ordered a study on how to address the growing number of people displaced by climate change last week.

"There's no one way to address this issue — it's so complex," Kayly Ober, told E&E.

Ober works with Refugees International, which released a report on Thursday identifying the wide range of domestic and international policies the Biden administration could take to address the issue.

For a deeper dive:

Honduran desperation: AP; Climate displacement policies: E&E; Immigration policy changes: NPR, Washington Post; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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