Readout of the Secretary-General's meeting with Dr. Vanda Pignato, First Lady and Secretary for Social Inclusion of El Salvador
New York, 27 October 2011The Secretary-General met this morning with Dr. Vanda Pignato, First Lady of El Salvador and Secretary for Social Inclusion. Dr. Pignato briefed the Secretary-General on the loss of life and the devastating impact of recent tropical rains on El Salvador, which placed in stark relief the effect of climate change on Central American countries. The Secretary-General was deeply concerned to hear that three-hundred thousand people had been directly affected by the storms and more than one million indirectly affected, that the country's agricultural crops and infrastructure had been seriously damaged, and that reconstruction efforts would require one and a half billion US dollars, an amount equivalent to five per cent of the country's GDP. The Secretary-General commended El Salvador's disaster management efforts while expressing the hope that the international community would respond strongly to its appeals for emergency and reconstruction assistance. He noted in this regard the United Nations Flash Appeal for El Salvador.