World Food Programme
Ambassador Ronald Johnson
Thursday, October 15, 2020, 11:00 A.M., MFA
Remarks by Ambassador Ronald Johnson at the Launch of the World Food Programme in El Salvador
** This is a courtesy translation. Only the original Spanish language text should be considered authoritative **
This year, the world has been faced with a challenge that nobody could have foreseen. We never imagined that we would ever live during a pandemic and yet this has been our reality for the past 8 months.
The coronavirus has affected us all, and in the case of El Salvador, the country has had to face the additional challenge of tropical storms. These storms left hundreds of Salvadorans homeless and without access to the most basic necessities to survive.
From day one we have been responding to the needs of our Salvadoran friends, and our goal has always been to save lives. El Salvador is one of the first countries to receive a donation of mechanical fans promised to President Bukele by President Trump. Since March we have continued to support El Salvador in its recovery efforts, and I was very proud to see American citizens fill an entire military plane with 64,000 pounds of food donations to help families who suffered during Tropical Storm Amanda. I want to thank the People Helping People foundation again for their generous donation and for helping deliver that food to Salvadoran families.
Today I am very happy to announce a new $ 3 million program to help the neediest families. Through our United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the World Food Program, more than 6,000 households will receive a stipend for the purchase of food for their families.
Natural disasters always disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our societies, those living in extreme poverty and people who depend on the harvest for their main source of food.
This program is focused on the places where storms and coronavirus have had the greatest impact. That is why we are working with the national government, Civil Protection, with mayors and local governments, and with the World Food Program. This program is a partner that has benefited children and people in need for decades and has impacted the fight against hunger and received the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
We cannot control natural disasters. We cannot control when or where they occur. But we can do a lot to mitigate risks and help recovery if we all join forces and work together. The United States is by far the number one contributor to this program.
The United States has always stood by El Salvador’s side through thick and thin, and we will remain here because our mission has not changed. We will continue to ensure the well-being of the country and of the Salvadorans, and we will continue to focus our efforts to continue saving lives and to continue advancing on the path to prosperity.
May God bless El Salvador, may God bless the Salvadorans, and may God bless the United States.
Thank you very much