World Bank supports Honduras’ emergency response and reconstruction efforts after hurricanes Eta and Iota

The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$150 million credit for an investment project to support Honduras’ emergency response and recovery needs after the devastation from hurricanes Eta and Iota. This support will also aim to strengthen institutional capacity in the country to manage resilient and inclusive reconstruction and recovery from disasters.

The Honduras Tropical Cyclones Eta and Iota Emergency Recovery Project will finance the immediate relief and response measures for populations in the most affected communities. The project will invest in the resilient rehabilitation and reconstruction of around 200 priority public and community infrastructures; the restoration and improvement of public services, such as electricity, water, education and health, for 800,000 people, with participatory processes to ensure the inclusion of women and people from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities as beneficiaries; the provision of emergency response and relief services to 100,000 people, and distribution of food and aid to 72,000 people. Additionally, 200 government and local authorities will receive training to enhance their capacity to administer disaster recovery.

“The World Bank responded promptly to Honduras’s request for financial resources for rehabilitation and reconstruction after the devastation caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota. This support will be key to the National Plan for Sustainable Reconstruction, including care for affected families and the recovery of road and productive infrastructure,” said Marco Midence, Minister of Finance of Honduras.

Between November 1 and 18, 2020, hurricanes Eta and Iota consecutively hit Honduras and other Central American countries, with an impact magnitude comparable to Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The most recent official estimates indicate that the two hurricanes affected over 4.5 million Hondurans, causing 99 deaths and the evacuation of over 1 million people (of whom about 96,000 remain in shelters). The Government of Honduras is undertaking a damage and loss assessment of both hurricanes with the support of the international community, including the World Bank.

“This emergency project is a swift response to help address the pressing needs of the most affected Hondurans by the damage caused by the destructive hurricanes,” said Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “This builds on our continued support for the development of Honduras in key areas, including rural competitiveness, social protection, education, and water and food security to help rebuild better for the benefit of all Hondurans.”

During 2020, the World Bank has supported Honduras with US$139 million to help the country’s response to the emergency caused by COVID-19. Also, the Bank approved US$30 million to improve the quality of pre-school education services, US$45 million to improve water supply services in urban municipalities and US$70 million for water services in Honduras’ Dry Corridor.

The US$150 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the Honduras Tropical Cyclones Eta and Iota Emergency Recovery Project has a final maturity of 30 years, including a grace period of 5 years.