In October of 2005 Hurricane Stan and the Ilamatepec volcano caused devastation in large areas of El Salvador. Both events demonstrated the geographic, climatologic and social vulnerability of the country, including basic health infrastructure, which is so important when disasters of high magnitude strike.
After a Flash Appeal was issued, many international humanitarian agencies gave millions of dollars in financial aid to the country. The Ministry of Health, with the help of PAHO/WHO, identified the areas most in need of improvement. This publication recounts both emergencies and the relief activities that followed using funds donated by CIDA, SIDA and OFDA specifically. It also provides a description of the work done in the areas of health infrastructure, supplying health units, community epidemiological surveillance, basic sanitation, and communications. Finally, the strengths and challenges of this process have been considered, so that the agencies that work in disaster management are better prepared next time a disaster strikes.