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IDB approves $1,410,0000 to strengthen capacity of six Central American Isthmus nations to prevent or mitigate natural disasters

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of $1,410,000 in nonreimbursable financing to strengthen the capacity of six countries of the Central American Isthmus to prevent or mitigate the most devastating effects of natural disasters.

The resources consist of a $300,000 grant from the IDB and a grant of $1,110,000 from the Japan Special Fund, which is administered by the IDB.

The program will complement the reconstruction effort now underway following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. It is designed to support the sustainability of the reconstruction investments by helping build permanent technical and operation capacity so countries will be better prepared in the future to deal with such natural hazards as torrential rains, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, landslides and drought.

A component of the program includes providing resources for a prevention and mitigation fund that will offer grants on a shared-cost basis to public, private, and nongovernmental organizations in the six participating countries for the design and implementation of disaster mitigation projects.

In addition, a technical assistance package will be financed to strengthen the technical and operational capacity of the national systems for disaster management and risk reduction throughout the region.

The agency that is coordinating the program, the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America*, will be strengthened.

The total cost of the program is $2,385,000. The World Bank is providing $300.000 in parallel financing, and local counterpart funds total $675,000.

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