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Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 00:01 GMT
World Bank pledges Salvador aid
Remains of a school where children and their teacher were killed in the February quake
El Salvador was devastated by two earthquakes a month apart
By Flora Botsford in Madrid

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank have pledged a further $700m to aid in the reconstruction of El Salvador following two devastating earthquakes at the beginning of this year.

The announcement came at a meeting of aid donors in Madrid.

Salvadorean President Francisco Flores
President Flores is desperate that his country not be forgotten
El Salvador is clearly anxious not to let the international community forget its tragedy and the enormous task of reconstruction which lies ahead.

Still reeling from two earthquakes exactly a month apart in January and February, the government is asking for more help now that the emergency phase is over.

At a meeting of aid donors in Madrid, the Inter-American Development Bank, which is sponsoring the conference, announced joint pledges with the World Bank worth $700m in low-interest loans to be released over the next four years, until 2005.

The president of the bank, Enrique Iglesias, said even this was not a ceiling, that there was scope for more aid if it was needed.

Trustworthy government

He said the government of El Salvador could be trusted to use it wisely, praising the economic structures already in place and the country's responsible approach to the crisis.

Spanish rescuer searches for survivors in El Salvador
Spain offered emergency help and now funds
Earlier, the Spanish Government continued its lead among European Union countries offering aid to El Salvador, pledging $33m to help rebuild its infrastructure and economy.

The Salvadorean President, Francisco Flores, said the aid would be used in the vital sectors of energy, communications, water and health.

He thanked the international community for its response so far and said the government was also looking to the private sector to contribute.

ABout 1,500 people lost their lives and 200,000 homes were destroyed in the earthquakes.

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07 Mar 01 | Americas
Spain pledges El Salvador aid
18 Feb 01 | Americas
El Salvador to renew quake appeal
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