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1.7 million aid to victims, El Salvador, Guatemala

Commission to provide €1.7 million in humanitarian aid for victims of tropical storm Stan in El Salvador and Guatemala

1.7 million Euros are being provided by the European Commission to alleviate the suffering of more than 30,000 people affected by natural disasters in El Salvador and Guatemala. The two countries have been badly affected by floods following the passage of Tropical Storm Stan, and needs in El Salvador have also arisen as a result of the eruption of the Ilamatepec volcano. The funds are being channelled through the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department which falls under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.

A fast-track primary emergency decision is being adopted less than 24 hours after the declaration of a state of emergency by the El Salvador government. It will enable partner agencies on the ground to start their operations without delay and to cover the immediate basic needs of badly-hit communities.

Since the beginning of October, El Salvador has suffered almost continuous rains, causing serious damage across the country. 49 people have died and 33,000 have been accommodated in temporary public shelters. In Guatemala 72 people are already known to have died. A full assessment of the overall situation is still not available, as the worst affected populations are in mountainous areas where access is difficult. However, initial reports point to a clear need for rapid humanitarian assistance.

The EC response will enable partners to meet basic needs through the provision of hygiene kits, food rations, water and primary health care to 6,000 families in El Salvador and Guatemala. In total, more than 30,000 people will benefit from the assistance, which will be provided immediately on the ground by the Commission’s humanitarian aid partners.

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