Monday, October 24, 2005

Concerns that politics influences aid distribution

Two prominent voices in El Salvador warned against politicization of aid to the victims of Hurricane Stan and the Ilamatepec volcano. Sunday, the archbishop of San Salvador, Fernando Saenz Lacalle, used his regular Sunday press conference to warn that aid to the victims should be based on their needs and not on partisan political interests. The archbishop also called on legislators to act in a nonpartisan fashion to take steps to reduce the risk of future disasters.

Similarly Beatrice de Carrillo, El Salvador's human rights ombudsperson, spoke about her worry that the government's relief aid might be channeled to favor those municipalities controlled by ARENA. She announced that distributing aid according to partisan interests would violate the rights under the Salvadoran constitution for all citizens to receive aid in times of emergency.

Unfortunately, with elections approaching in the spring, the temptation to use aid distribution for partisan gain will be difficult to resist for both major parties.


Wally said...

I agree that relief supplies can be used as a political tool to punish or reward, but the other options for distribution aren´t much better. My wife worked briefly doing medical relief in Nicarauga following Hurricane Mitch and the aid was distributed by the Catholic church in the area she was in. If you weren´t a Catholic, you didn´t get relief supplies. Good blog Tim, keep it up.

Tim said...

Wally, thanks for your regular comments.