Tuesday, November 17, 1998 Published at 00:43 GMT
More US aid for Mitch victims
Mrs Clinton said more US troops and equipment would aid reconstruction
On a visit to Central America to see the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, President Clinton's wife, Hillary, has announced a new $160m aid package for the region
Standing alongside Honduran first lady, Mary Flake Wood de Flores, Mrs Clinton praised "the great spirit" of the Honduran people and said the United States was ready to offer more resources to help the region recover and reconstruction.
Mrs Clinton's announcement brings US assistance to Central America to more than $250m.
The French President, Jacques Chirac, is also in the region, as are the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Emma Bonino, and Prince Felipe of Spain.
The high-profile visits come as the authorities in Central America are struggling to stop the spread of disease.
More than 11,000 people are thought to have died in Central America since Hurricane Mitch struck the region.
For those that survived the storm caused widespread destruction to the region's infrastructure, crippling local and national economies.
Threat of disease
Already thousands of businesses have laid off workers after factories and plantations were destroyed by the storms.
Recently Honduran officials have warned that the economic fall-out left by the hurricane could trigger a wave of migration northwards to the US.
Included in the new package announced by Mrs Clinton is $17m to be spent on providing loans enabling small businesses to reopen.
She said reconstruction would have to be a long-term commitment but that it was "very important that all of us work together to rebuild lives and rebuild this country".
Mrs Clinton also announced that the US would quadruple the number of soldiers in the region to 5,600, to help with reconstruction.
Fifty-five US military helicopters will also join the relief effort to reach areas cut off from other forms of transport.
US troops will be bringing in bridge- and road-building equipment, as well as an emergency hospital and water purifying plants.
International lenders from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have also pledged assistance for Honduras and Nicaragua in paying their debts by including them in a debt reduction programme for the world's poorest states.