CHALATENANGO – The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in El Salvador, Jean Manes, inaugurated the “Disaster and Risk Reduction – Chalatenango” project by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and local organizations such as Mancomunidad La Montañona and Caritas. At the event, the Chargé d’Affaires announced additional humanitarian assistance for Salvadoran families in need.
The event was presided over by Chargé d’Affaires Jean Manes, CRS Country Representative Holly Inurreta, La Montañona Commonwealth President Nelson Santos, and Chalatenango Bishop Oswaldo Stefano Escobar.
USAID currently invests $5 million through its partner CRS to address acute food insecurity in specific areas of El Salvador affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, recurrent droughts and tropical storms. USAID is supporting 16,000 people in 11 municipalities in Chalatenango, with assistance that includes cash transfers to buy food. In addition, the project helps farmers gain better access to clean water and implement sustainable agricultural practices that increase yields and protect the soil against drought, improving their livelihoods and incomes.
Following Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement of humanitarian assistance for Central America, Chargé d’Affaires Manes revealed that USAID plans to provide an additional $16.6 million in humanitarian assistance for El Salvador in 2021 alone. This amount is in addition to the $5 million project with CRS.
The Chargé d’Affaires also visited the Upatoro community in Chalatenango and spoke with project participants, who thanked the support to improve their food situation, as well as the knowledge to improve crops and have better opportunities in their communities.
“We are very happy to work in Chalatenango to support families who have been left in a vulnerable situation due to recurrent droughts, last year’s four storms and the impact of COVID-19,” Holly Inurreta, CRS Representative, said.
The Chargé d’Affaires Jean Manes said, “It is a great joy to be here now and to announce a $5 million donation to improve food security for thousands of families in Chalatenango. Our commitment has always been to Salvadorans, especially those who need it most.
During her visit to Chalatenango, the Chargé d’Affaires met with entrepreneurs who receive USAID support to grow their businesses. USAID awarded a grant to the Association of Milk Producers of El Salvador (PROLECHE) to increase the quantity and quality of milk that 19 producers sell to the dairy processing industry. Through an alliance with FUNDES and Walmart, USAID also provided marketing assistance for 7 MSMEs to meet Walmart’s requirements to increase their sales.