The United Nations Food Agency (UNFA) has predicted that 1999 will be a difficult year as far as natural disasters are concerned. "Forecasts for the 1999 show there will be a likely increase in the number of countries suffering emergencies and number of people needing humanitarian assistance," said a UNFA spokesperson. Last year was marked by an unprecedented combination of events driving up hunger levels -- natural tragedies like Hurricane Mitch in Colombia and Honduras, economic collapses in Indonesia and Russia, a resumption of civil wars in Kosovo and Angola and El Nio-driven devastating floods in South Asia.
United Nations Development Programme has (UNDP) launched five new projects in Central America to help victims of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and Nicaragua. A fund of US $2.3 million has been granted to 25 municipalities in Nicaragua to reconstruct homes, restore health care and sanitation. In Honduras, a US $26 million project was launched to build infrastructure and to counter transmission of infectious diseases through sanitation and other prevention programmes. Another US $3 million project in Honduras will help strengthen the government's newly created Special Cabinet for national reconstruction.
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