The United Nations has sent a disaster assessment team to El Salvador and released a $50,000 cash grant to help the Central American country recover from torrential rains that have caused massive flooding and triggered landslides, killing at least 140 people and displacing nearly 14,000 others.
Announcing the grant, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) cited the Salvadoran government’s appeal for international aid to ensure that essential supplies such as food, water, hygiene kits, beds and blankets are provided to those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged. (UN News Centre, Nov. 10)
President Mauricio Funes has declared a state of emergency and the Legislative Assembly acted quickly to provide $150 million in emergency relief, including for farmers whose crops have been washed away. “This time, the government will not leave the people to suffer alone,” the president pledged.
The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) hopes to raise $2,000 for disaster relief by week’s end. Readers are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation. (CISPES, Nov. 10)
Torrential rains at this time of year in 2007 left many dead and thousands displaced in both Central America and Colombia. The increasing severity of flooding in the region has caused some to point to the impacts of regional and global climate change.