Food insecurity affects 1 in 9 Salvadorans

700,000 people, or one out of every nine people in El Salvador, suffer from food insecurity, especially in the country's rural areas according to international organizations working in El Salvador.   Droughts, the El Niño phenomenon, and the impact of roya (coffee rust fungus), have had a serious negative affect on families incomes and harvests over the past three years.

The effects are widespread, touching 104 of the country's municipalities especially in the east.  In 24 municipalities, almost 20,000 families are receiving direct food aid.   The aid is provided by the World Food Program and the National Council on Food Security.

The recent periods of drought have reduced flow rates in El Salvador's rivers by as much as 20 to 60%, and declining as much as 90% in the eastern region.  According to OxFam, which works with populations in the eastern departments of Morazan, San Miguel and Usulutan, there has been a 40% reduction in access to water.  One result is that women now spend an extra half hour a day just to retrieve water for their household use.