Flash Appeal for El Salvador 2009
The combined effect of Hurricane Ida and a low-pressure system off the Pacific Coast led to heavy rainfall in El Salvador, from Saturday to Sunday November 7-8, causing severe flooding and landslides in seven of the country’s 14 departments. In just a few hours, 355mm of rainfall was registered in the most adversely affected areas, not far off the 400mm registered during four days of Hurricane Mitch (1998).
To date, 192 people have been reported dead, 80 people missing, and around 15,000 people are currently being supported in 140 collective centres (camps, schools, churches, etc.) in 52 municipalities, representing 20% of the total municipalities in the country. In total, approximately 15,000 families (75,000 people) are in need of humanitarian assistance.
On November 8, the President of the Republic of El Salvador, Mr. Mauricio Funes, decreed a National Emergency, and on November 10, the Government officially requested international assistance. The Government requested the deployment of a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to the disaster area to support national efforts in damage and needs assessment, and the coordination of international assistance.
Initial international efforts have been focused on the provision of emergency aid (food and non-food items, bottled water and health assistance) to the affected population, especially those in collective centres. Now, urgent action must be taken to locate, quantify and deliver humanitarian aid to the affected population outside collective centres, mainly in areas of limited physical access. Government civil protection agencies, together with humanitarian partners, are presently carrying out a detailed assessment of these areas. Urgent support must also be given to improve the management of the established collective centres and aid quality.
Beside urgent and extensive clearing operations and ensuring access to the affected population, the priority in the first weeks will be given to life-saving and life-sustaining activities for 75,000 people, with a focus on shelter, water/sanitation/hygiene, health, and food security. Humanitarian assistance will be coordinated with early recovery efforts, with support for the recovery of livelihoods and initial work on repairing the damage to housing with activities such as cash-for-work (CFW), provision of seeds and tools, and progressive housing and social services recovery.
In close coordination with the Government of El Salvador, and based on assessments from the national authorities, the UN system and other humanitarian partners, the Flash Appeal seeks$13,125,999 for six months. A Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) request was also submitted for this emergency.