The Peace Agreement signed recently between the Government and FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador marks the end of a decade of civil war. As both sides of the conflict and the international donor community begin to add up the financial costs of reconstruction, the human, social and psychological costs are carried mainly by the poor of El Salvador. Social organisations and NGOs who became strategists of survival now face the challenge of transforming their accumulated experience into alternative proposals for the building of a more just society and a prosperous nation. This article explores the practical complexities of transition from war to peace; and from emergency aid to sustainable development based on the participation of communities, social organisations, NGOs, and international agencies; and the challenges of building on their experience.
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