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EU will continue to support El Salvador’s contribution to eradicating poverty

European Commission - IP/13/923   08/10/2013

Other available languages: FR DE ES LV

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 8 October 2013

EU will continue to support El Salvador’s contribution to eradicating poverty

EU development assistance to El Salvador has so far had many benefits for its people, for instance, by providing access to basic pension for the elderly or access to water and sanitation. Building on these results, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will confirm, during an official visit to the country, EU's commitment to help the country develop by providing new funding between 2014-2020. The new support will focus on the areas of social services for young people, private sector development and climate change and vulnerability with the objective of improving the livelihoods of those who need it most.

Out of the overall allocation for bilateral projects with El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and previously announced (€775 million), €149 million are expected to be for El Salvador, subject to the final approval by the Council and the European Parliament, €120 million in support to regional projects in Central America between 2014-2020 was also announced.

Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said: “I am pleased to see that good results are already being achieved through our work in El Salvador, especially in the fight against poverty and improving services for the most disadvantaged sectors of society. I look forward to discussing the future of our cooperation during my visit here, and am confident that we can continue to work together to help make even more of a difference with our support going forward.”

The programme Comunidades Solidarias (PACSES) to which the EU has provided €47 million, was set up by the Government to increase the provision of public services to the poorest and more vulnerable people. The programme is expected to reach over 13% of the total population (around 750,000 people), being women, children, young people at risk and the elderly the priority groups.

Some results achieved so far include:

  • 30% of people older than 70 are now covered by basic pension;

  • 226,000 families are receiving preventive medical care;

  • seven offices have been set up for the prevention of violence against women;

  • 70% of population in the municipalities are covered with access to drinking water and basic sanitation;

  • over 84% of the population has been provided with access to electricity

During the visit (8-9 October), Commissioner Piebalgs will meet President Mauricio Funes, as well as senior ministers, with whom he will discuss the future of EU cooperation with El Salvador, and welcome the results achieved so far.

He will also visit a hydroelectric plant partly financed by the EU through the Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF). This project will contribute significantly to climate and environmental protection by drastically reducing CO2 emissions, in a country where more than 50% of electricity capacity is based on fossil fuels.

Background

El Salvador is a lower middle income country with significant poverty and income distribution challenges. It is the most densely populated country in the mainland American continent.

Between 2007 and 2013, €121 million was provided for El Salvador. This was spent on two main areas: fostering social cohesion and economic growth and regional integration and trade.

Commissioner Piebalgs has also visited Guatemala and Nicaragua as part of the official visit.

El Salvador has played an important role in aid effectiveness, with the Government leading the implemention of the aid effectiveness agenda and South-South Cooperation at Busan's Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011; helping to develop both donors and recipients in the wider Latin America's region.

For more information

MEMO/13/838: EU relations and development cooperation with Central America

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)


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