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Friday, January 21, 2022

Central America asks for help to rebuild in the face of devastating hurricanes

Central American presidents on Monday appealed to the financial community and international organizations for resources to support the reconstruction of their respective countries, given the damage caused by Hurricanes Eta and the expected destruction from Iota, as well as the effects of Covid-19.

The presidents of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, and Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, met Monday in Tegucigalpa. In virtual communication with Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and Carlos Alvarado (Costa Rica), they agreed to form a block to manage the aid, reported the Honduran government in a statement.

“We come here to seek support from the countries of the world and international financial organizations to (obtain) funds for reconstruction,” Giammattei said.

Dante Mossi, president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), was also present at the meeting.

“We have (funds for) emergency aid and we can coordinate with other donors and CABEI-friendly countries (to) access green funds” from the United Nations, Mossi said. Green funds are intended to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In this sense, he proposed to refocus CABEI’s portfolio of $2.5 billion “to restore infrastructure, dams and construction of social housing.”

Giammattei reported that more than 3 million people were affected by Eta in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, for which they need “fast and agile” funds for reconstruction.

“There have been severe damages with these rains, destruction of crops, road infrastructure, damaged homes, deaths,” Alvarado lamented. “We have to access those resources for climate change: Green Funds,” he advocated.

Hernández proposed requesting the United Nations to declare Central America “the most vulnerable zone” to climate change.

“To the pandemic of poverty, the migration of drug trafficking (…) today Covid-19 is added” and “storms hit all of Central America in road infrastructure, production, health system and other sectors,” Ortega lamented .

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