Honduras to receive US$119 million in support to respond to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and other emergencies

The World Bank Executive Board approved a US$119 million credit for Honduras to allow the country to mobilize immediate financial resources to respond to the emergency caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The main objective of the Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Credit with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) is to strengthen the financial and institutional framework of Honduras to manage risks from adverse natural events and health emergencies.

“The World Bank has been a key partner for the Government of the Republic of Honduras in supporting capacity-building and access to financing,” said Rocío Tábora, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Finance of Honduras. “This program will help strengthen comprehensive disaster risk management as a strategy for sustained and inclusive development, fostering conditions to improve the country’s resilience to emergencies.”

Honduras has advanced institutional and regulatory reforms in four key areas: i) improving public financial management and fiscal resilience against disaster risk; ii) enhancing the institutional framework for improved disaster risk management; iii) strengthening health emergency preparedness and response capacities; and iv) improving water resources governance and climate resilience.

These reforms include, among others, the 2019 transformation of the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO, in Spanish) into the Ministry of Disaster Risk Management and National Contingencies, strengthening the Ministry of Finance’s disaster risk financing capacity, and the recent approval of the National Pandemic, Epidemic and Health Emergency Response Plan, which strengthens the country’s prevention and response capacities to epidemics and pandemics.

The program’s expected results include that, within three years, all twenty health regions in Honduras will have a health emergency response plan, with emphasis on epidemics and pandemics, and at least 40 percent of municipalities in the country will formulate or update their local emergency plans to prevent and address risks related to natural phenomena and climate change.

“This program was designed prior to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis to support Honduras in improving its ability to respond to adverse natural events, climate risk, and disease outbreaks. But it is even more relevant in the current context, as it immediately contributes to the Government’s prompt response to protect the population in Honduras during this pandemic,” said Seynabou Sakho, World Bank Country Director for Central America.

The World Bank continues to work closely with the Government of Honduras to provide immediate additional support for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) response, including activating emergency components of active projects and expediting the preparation of new projects.

The US$119 million credit granted by the International Development Association (IDA), part of the World Bank Group, has a final maturity of 30 years, including a 5-year grace period.

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