Here's Salvadorean ambassador Francisco Altschul in The Hill
Over the past five years, the MCC compact improved people´s lives by stimulating economic development. In particular, the investment focused on small-business development, access to markets, education, transportation infrastructure and improved access to potable water and electricity. A $278 million investment built a 138-mile highway across an isolated and marginalized northern area. Now that it is connected to the rest of the country, the area has been able to attract $57 million in new private investment. More than 17,000 people have been trained in business and entrepreneurship and more than 30,000 students have benefited from improved schools.Laura Villagran also had coverage of the MCC's success in the Christian Science Monitor with a report on Aid that works: A new road, farmer co-op revitalizes rural El Salvador.
The 138-mile Northern Highway anchored the compact and paved the way for economic development projects such as El Salvador Produce; technical assistance and training for 15,000 farmers; as well as an expanded technical college. The funds targeted the “northern zone,” an economically depressed region that suffered disproportionately during the country’s brutal civil war, which lasted more than a decade until a 1992 peace pact.
Farmers in the northern zone previously only had access to poor slow-going roads, but today El Salvador Produce sends its own trucks out to the farms – which are better connected by the highway – to pick up the farmers’ goods.Unfortunately, El Salvador has not been able to take advantage of the improved infrastructure because foreign direct investment has fallen off a cliff since the FMLN took power. The president of Nejapa Power blames the uncertain legal climate for businesses in the country as well as concerns about a new dividend tax, security and low levels of education.
Right now the US and El Salvador are working on a second MCC that would pertain to coastal and maritime development.