12 March 1999
Aid still needed after Mitch

CENTRAL AMERICA is continuing to suffer in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch which scythed through the region last year, reports the Financial Times.

In a special report, the paper reports that large inflows of foreign aid will be needed to plug holes in the balance of payments for Honduras and Nicaragua.

The hurricane wreaked terrible damage on the agriculture sector in both countries, the mainstay of both economies.

Official figures estimate the Honduran economy will shrink by about 2% this year and the fiscal deficit will climb to 8.5% of gross domestic product.

In Nicaragua, growth will be just 1%, according to the Madrid-based Institute for European-Latin American Relations.