By Godson Umejiego, Correspondent USA
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) will provide coordinated support to the Central American countries hit hardest by Hurricane Eta. Their action plan will include short-, medium- and long-term financing for humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Representatives of the three development banks met virtually to marshal international resources for the Central American countries. The joint effort comprises lines of credit and technical assistance, and will support governments’ efforts to assess damage, deliver aid to affected populations and plan the interventions necessary to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure.
“One of my goals is achieving closer collaboration with other multilaterals in order to prioritize actions and maximize resources,” said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone. “Emergencies such as this, in a context that is already extremely complicated due to COVID-19, make a coordinated and agile response by international organizations especially necessary.”
The World Bank Group’s President, David Malpass, said, “We are going to give the countries impacted by Eta all the support they need to quickly assist the affected families, repair the damage and, what is very important in the medium term, build back better. A rapid and effective response is, as always in these cases, the highest priority.”
CABEI President Dante Mossi said, “For CABEI, it is a priority to be able to quickly and effectively meet the principal needs of the countries in the region affected by this double crisis of COVID-19 and Hurricane Eta. Joint work between the multilateral banks and governments of the region will be key for securing additional and complementary resources from the international partner community and for optimizing their allocation.”
Hurricane Eta, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, has caused severe flooding and landslides in Central America after passing from Nicaragua into Honduras on Wednesday. While it is too early to know the full extent of the impact, thousands of people in the region appear to have been affected, and there is widespread damage to infrastructure and private property.