Central American coffee producers are to receive aid worth millions of dollars from the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

The banks have agreed to re-allocate money from rural development budgets worth US$500m, at the request of local governments, to help coffee-producing areas.

The banks made their announcement at a special conference, held in Guatemala, to address the economic crises caused by the recent deep falls in coffee prices. They added that they would "collaborate with countries in implementing their national strategies to address the coffee crisis, including consideration of new loans."

Meanwhile, America's USAID announced it will launch a US$6-million Special Coffee Program, including help to provide technology, support marketing and develop certifications of origin.