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LatinNews Daily - 13 March 2020

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In brief: Sica governments call to release emergency funds

* After a ‘virtual meeting’ of the Central American integration system (Sica), the governments of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic (DR), and Belize have issued a joint statement requesting that the Central American bank for economic integration (BCIE) work to “streamline” the distribution of emergency funds needed to address the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Each country is entitled to an emergency allowance of US$250,000 through the BCIE, which is governed by the finance ministers of member states. The meeting also produced an agreement to prepare a ‘regional contingency plan’ in order to “complement national efforts for the prevention, containment, and treatment of Covid-19”. Cases have so far been confirmed in Panama (27), Costa Rica (23), the DR (5), and Honduras (2).