Magazine article New Internationalist

At a Glance

Magazine article New Internationalist

At a Glance

Article excerpt

Leader: President Otto Pérez Molina

Economy: GNP per capita $2,740 (El Salvador $3,360, United States $47,140). The agricultural sector accounts for nearly 15% of GDP and around half the labour force. Since the end of the civil war, foreign investment has increased, but insecurity remains the largest stumbling block - not least for the tourism industry.

Monetary unit: Quetzal.

Main exports: Coffee, bananas, sugar.

People: 14.7 million. Population growth rate 2.7% pa. People per sq km 134 (UK 253).

Health: Infant mortality 25 per 1,000 live births (El Salvador 14, US 7). HIV prevalence rate 0.8%. Lifetime risk of maternal death 1 in 210 (US 1 in 2,100). Some 20% of Guatemala's population lacks healthcare - mostly in rural indigenous areas. Children regularly die of diarrhoea, chronic malnutrition and respiratory diseases.

Environment: Fragile ecosystems are not just under threat from volcanic eruptions and increasingly frequent tropical storms, but also from private companies eager to manipulate land for financial gain. …

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