El Salvador

Christian Aid in El Salvador update Jan 2003

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The year 2002 saw the tenth anniversary of the signing of the peace accords in El Salvador, but the country is still reeling from the effects of the 12-year civil war, which left 75,000 people dead and 8,000 missing. Although the war formally ended in 1992, the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America still faces a host of development problems, and its fragile democracy is still struggling to survive.
In January and February 2001, two earthquakes rocked the country, killing 1,200 people and leaving one sixth of the population without adequate shelter. It is estimated that only half the families who lost their houses are living in proper housing two years later, while the others remain in temporary shelter.

Major droughts in 2001 and 2002, plus an ongoing coffee crisis means that many Salvadoreans are struggling to survive. Salvadoreans remain concerned that another El Niño could bring yet another drought this year. Ten years on from the peace accords, the social and economic problems that led to war remain unresolved.

Christian Aid supports five partners in El Salvador. They focus on promoting the public role of women; disaster preparedness; strengthening local organisations; rehabilitation after the earthquakes and helping those affected by drought.

Partner news

24 March 2002 was the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of human rights campaigner Archbishop Romero, who fought for justice and peace in El Salvador and was murdered by a right-wing death squad. Partners commemorated this event by pledging to continue to defend his ideals.

In July 2002, three Christian Aid staff members from the Westside of England went to El Salvador to see the work of Christian Aid partners and witness the continued reconstruction of the country.