July 23, 2020 / 1:46 AM / 16 days ago

EU gives Honduran health system $93 mln to tackle coronavirus

TEGUCIGALPA, July 22 (Reuters) - The European Union has granted Honduras 80 million euros ($93 million) in aid to help the impoverished Central American nation’s health system cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, an EU representative said on Wednesday.

Despite strict measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, local hospitals have struggled to cope with the number of patients with respiratory illnesses in Honduras, which has registered 35,345 infections and 988 deaths from the virus.

“In Honduras, 80 million euros will be allocated in the areas of health, early recovery, measures to aid economic recovery, jobs and human rights,” Alessandro Palmero, the EU’s representative to Honduras, told reporters. Analysts expect the pandemic to cause the Honduran economy to contract by between 2.9% and 3.9% this year and lose 500,000 jobs. Some 62% of the population already lives in poverty. ($1 = 0.8646 euros) (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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