UN, partners launch $13 million appeal for flood victims in El Salvador

Thousands of people were displaced by Hurricane Ida in El Salvador

18 November 2009 – The United Nations and its partners launched a $13 million Flash Appeal for El Salvador today to provide immediate aid for six months to 75,000 victims of Hurricane Ida, covering food, shelter, water and sanitation, education, agriculture and early recovery.

“The effects of flood-related disasters are particularly dangerous for survivors if not addressed quickly because of the risk of water-borne and exposure-related diseases,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said of the hurricane, which killed over 190 people and left 80 more reported missing, with 15,000 others still sheltering in camps, schools, churches and other buildings.

“We are therefore urging donors to respond quickly to this appeal so that assistance can be provided to those affected without delay,” he added of the appeal, launched jointly with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Government of El Salvador.

Some 2,000 homes, 117 schools, 25 health facilities and 37 bridges in the small Central American country were damaged or destroyed and significant amounts of crops and livestock were lost when Ida and a low pressure system off the Pacific coast caused unprecedented rainfall earlier this month, with severe widespread flooding and landslides.

“Hurricane Ida hit El Salvador at a particularly critical moment,” UN Resident Coordinator Jessica Faieta said. “The country is one of the Latin American countries most affected by the global economic crisis. Now, Government resources may have to be put into financing humanitarian action, recovery and reconstruction at the expense of poverty reduction programmes.”


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