By Carmen Rodríguez and Luisa Moncada, Washington DC-Canada
The United States allocated a fund of $4,600,000 so that the government of El Salvador can face the pandemic. This was confirmed by the State Department this week.
Contrary to what President Nayib Bukele said that he does not have the tools and money to deal with the health crisis, the Salvadoran government will have a second disbursement of more than US funds.
The first disbursement “It includes $ 2 million in the previously announced ESF to address second-order COVID-19 related impacts in El Salvador through job creation and increased access to credit, both critical factors in driving illegal immigration to the United States”, says the official statement released to the international press in Washington.
The second disbursement, of $2,600,000 must be destined “for medical assistance for the outbreak of COVID-19”. The Salvadoran government must include actions to prevent more infections, control and management of cases already detected.
United States support for El Salvador, during the pandemic, it wasn't just financial. In early April President Donald Trump announced the donation of mechanical fans to the country.
Political crisis and pandemic
El Salvador fights a battle, not against the pandemic or its consequences for the most vulnerable in the country. President Bukele, remains in conflict with the Legislative Assembly and constantly ensures that it will not comply with the orders of the Supreme Court.
according to Bukele, ARENA and the FMLN, the two majority parties, they have taken away the tools to combat the pandemic and also, are opposed to approving loans and disbursing money for this purpose.
But nevertheless, the bottom of the crisis, It has to do with Bukele's refusal to respect the independence of the Salvadoran state powers and his refusal to give clear accounts of his plans and the money used in the actions to face the expansion of the coronavirus..
Bukele has not only received funds from the United States government, also received other millionaire funds. To cope with the pandemic, the government has so far had access to $1,307,000,000 distributed among securities, international cooperation loans and contingency loans.
According to the detail from official sources, the number of securities received by the president during the crisis is $483,000,000, others $778,000,000 in CETES Y LETES. further, $46,000,000 of a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The government expects a disbursement of $389,000,000, that are part of the $2,000,000,000 of the approved loan from the Monetary Investment Fund.
Most of these funds should be destined to the prevention of COVID-19 cases in the country; but nevertheless, government figures up to 22 of May, indicate that 1,725 people contracted the disease.
The Medical College, meanwhile, reports that there are more than 40 doctors who tested positive for coronavirus.
further, official sources confirmed this week, that more than 200 military and 200 police are also infected.
This number of medical personnel, police and military, represents the 25% of all positive covid-19 cases in the country.
further, the data indicates that the majority of cases are community infections, contradicting Bukele's statements, in which it ensures that the cases registered in the country, are cases imported or carried by tourists and Salvadorans.
Between 18 of March, when the first case was registered in the country, and the 22 of May, when the day number is marked 65 quarantine and fence across the country, an average of 26 daily infections.