World News

Guatemala to tap $26 million from fund to help poor amid coronavirus crisis

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala will use nearly $26 million from an emergency fund to help thousands of the country’s neediest families, as measures to combat the spread of coronavirus hit the economy and jobs, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Sunday.

“For the most vulnerable in the country … we have decided to withdraw 200 million quetzals ($25.8 million) from the emergency fund and we are going to give families aid of 1,000 quetzals ($129) to help pay for electricity, water and supplies,” Giammattei said.

Guatemala has so far registered 36 confirmed cases of the virus and one death.

The Central American nation on Saturday extended a curfew through April 12.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Anthony Esposito; editing by Richard Pullin)