With passage of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill,
President Clinton has succeeded in obtaining the $956 million he
requested to address vital relief and reconstruction needs in Central
America and the Caribbean in the wake of the devastation wrought by
Hurricanes Mitch and Georges. The package follows through on the
President's commitment to stand by our neighbors to the South as they
rebuild for their future.
The bill provides reconstruction assistance, disaster mitigation,
and debt relief and will be channeled primarily through nongovernmental
organizations in cooperation with U.S. government agencies. It also
replenishes programs at the Department of Defense, the Department of
Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development that were
depleted to pay for the immediate humanitarian relief provided by the
U.S. after the hurricanes hit.
The supplemental bill will be presented at the upcoming donor
conference in Stockholm in which donors throughout Asia and Europe will
meet to discuss reconstruction priorities and pledge assistance. The
bill will provide an important leverage in prompting other nations to
donate to the region.
Specifically, the bill provides:
$136 million for Public Health Programs to reconstruct or
rehabilitate 783 health posts and clinics, to provide water and
sanitation services for nearly 4 million people, as well as disease
control, surveillance and prevention for 17.5 million people.
$283 million to restart these economies by constructing or
repairing 720 kilometers of rural roads, by providing 70,000
micro-enterprise loans for seeds, tools, and fertilizer for 4.8 million
people, and by helping 65,000 hillside farmers adopt sustainable
$55 million to provide emergency shelter for 20,000 people, to
repair and re-equip over 1700 schools and provide school supplies for
over 200,000 children, and to build 6,400 new housing units.
$11.5 million to help local governments manage reconstruction
assistance and improve planning for future disasters, including
provision of anti-corruption training for municipal government and NGO
employees so that they will be able to thwart the diversion of
$2 million to support the clearance of landmines and other
unexploded ordinance in Nicaragua and Honduras.
$62.3 million to fully fund expanded U.S. Reserve "New
Horizons" exercises in the four Central American countries and in the
$10 million for law enforcement to design and implement
anti-corruption programs including development of internal
audit/oversight mechanisms and automated immigration records to
facilitate information sharing at all border-crossing points.
$64 million to provide technical assistance for environmental
management and disaster mitigation including land use planning and
appropriate resource management, assistance for the protection of key
ecosystems, and replacement of destroyed harbor navigation aids in
Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador with improved Global Positioning
$41 million for debt relief including $25 million to
contribute to a Central American Emergency Trust Fund that will help the
World Bank and other International Financial Institutions defer debt
payments from these Central American countries.
$158.6 million to replenish accounts in the Department of
Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development for the
immediate humanitarian relief they provided soon after the hurricanes
$42 million for public health programs, economic support, and
other reconstruction and disaster mitigation assistance for the
countries devastated by Hurricane Georges.
$10 million to address the effects of the earthquake in
$5.5 million to fund administrative costs incurred by the U.S.
Agency for International Development, plus $1.5 million to fund AID's
Inspector General to be used for audits and inspections, and $0.5
million for the General Accounting Office to audit and monitor the use
of supplemental funds.