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RECONSTRUCTION AND RISK REDUCTION: A PROJECT EXAMPLE FROM EL SALVADOR

Abstract
By : René Peter Ho., Thomas Schaef

 
BACKGROUND
In January 2001, large parts of El Salvador were devastated by two earthquakes that occurred in quick succession. More than 1,200 people lost their lives. Some 150,000 houses were destroyed, and 47,000 jobs were lost as factories and workshops were annihilated.
PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Immediately after the earthquake, German Government made EUR 2.5 million available for the reconstruction project RETOS ("El Proyecto de Reconstrucción después de los Terremotos"), which was implemented by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). Based on the experience gained with emergency aid following Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala in 1998, support was provided through existing Technical Cooperation projects in nine communities. This made it possible to deliver swift and effective aid on the ground. The aim was to facilitate rapid reconstruction of the municipal infrastructure (e.g. schools, water supply and sanitation), the health sector, and small enterprises. Despite the acute need for action, a further aim was at the same time to reduce vulnerability to future earthquakes by integrating preventive elements into the emergency aid and reconstruction work.

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