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El Salvador: the politics of aid

Thursday, November 10, 2011

WHAT El Salvador will receive support from the United States, through the "Plan de Acción Conjunta" (Joint Action Plan), signed on November 3 by the presidents of the two countries, Mauricio Funes and Barack Obama.

WHY Under the plan, planners from both countries will work together on helping the troubled Salvadoran economy, especially in the areas of security and productivity. Neither country has referred to specific amounts of money, which the plan would invest.

WHAT NEXT More aid should be good for El Salvador, and for Funes' left-leaning FMLN Party, in advance of national elections, to be held in 2014. Joint management of aid funds should improve efficiency, and reduce waste and corruption. Risk factors include a possible nationalist backlash against foreign intervention in domestic affairs. In addition, the program may involve an emphasis on the drug war, a US initiative, which has for decades been notoriously unsuccessful, both in Central America and Mexico. Meanwhile, most Salvadorans are concerned about conventional crime.

For more information, please contact Esteban Alvarez at [email protected]