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Tegucigalpa, HONDURAS, June 23, 1999 — IFC Executive Vice President Peter Woicke today signed a loan of US$6 million for the largest shrimp producer in Honduras, Grupo Granjas Marinas S.A. de C.V. (GGM), to help it recover from damages caused by Hurricane Mitch last October.
Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras and caused US$800 million worth of losses to the agricultural sector, which accounts for 60 percent of exports. The shrimp industry, the largest private employer in southern Honduras, suffered losses estimated at around US$50 million.
IFC's investment will strengthen GGM's finances after it lost 1.3 million pounds of shrimp in the hurricane. It will also expand grow-out ponds and build new hatchery, freezing and wastewater facilities at the processing plant. Part of the project will improve wastewater effluent quality and support best practice in environmental management, in compliance with World Bank Group requirements. It will introduce advanced hatchery technology from the United States, including training of local staff.
In Honduras on a four-day visit to Central America, Mr. Woicke said the project will revive Honduras' agricultural export base and boost both economic well-being and morale by re-employing 1,000 people and creating another 100 jobs in Choluteca, an area badly affected by the hurricane. He added that the investment signals that the private sector can help, alongside donors and multilaterals, in the regional recovery of the Central America.
Thanks to the prompt support of IFC, the company will be able to reinstate its full productive capacity less than one year after the disaster, said Mr. Jorge Bueso, President of the Board of Directors at Grupo Granjas Marinas. The investments for reconstruction will also make it possible to incorporate leading edge technologies and enhance the company's environmentally sound practices, he added.
FC made an equity investment in GGM in 1987, making it one of the founding partners in GGM's San Bernardo farm.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
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