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Christian Aid in El Salvador

El Salvador is a tiny but densely populated nation in which the gap between the poor majority and the rich elite is huge. The country suffered through years of bitter civil war in the 1980s and is highly susceptible to natural disasters, which constitute a regular and formidable threat to the security of the population.

We work with our partners in El Salvador to help people prepare for the devastating impact of tropical storms, hurricanes and floods. We try to address economic inequality by empowering communities to improve their livelihoods, and are involved in campaigns for tax justice and accountable governance Our partners also advocate for policy change at government level on issues like climate change and sustainability.

Natural disasters

El Salvador is vulnerable to earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, landslides and volcanic eruptions. These natural threats easily turn into full-blown disasters due to high levels of poverty, vulnerability and lack of infrastructure. Any weather-related disasters are likely to be exacerbated by the growing threat from climate change.

History and inequality

El Salvador’s colonial legacy left a society full of inequalities, with a few wealthy people owning most of the land. A succession of dictators and military regimes widened the gap between the elitist land-owning class and the landless workers. The 12-year civil war left social and economic problems that remain unsolved to this day.


El Salvador has a high rate of violence. Violent and criminal gangs act with impunity, and justice and security institutions are unable to fulfil their role. This is the very real and dangerous reality within which our partners work.

Our vision for El Salvador is a fair and equal society, free from violence, achieved through democratic and accountable institutions, and more resilient communities based on a fairer economic model that allows marginalised people, especially women and youth, to take advantage of development.

Christian Aid works with partner organisations to address economic inequality, help communities prepare for natural disasters and promote non-violent alternatives to conflict. Our partners include organised civil society groups who are trying to combat the problems of violence, inequality and climate change.

Further content

More on Central America

Central America Strategy 2013-2018: English (PDF, 0.1mb) | Spanish (PDF, 0.5mb)

Latin America and the Caribbean strategy English (PDF, 1.7mb) | Spanish (1.7mb)

Tax to help the poor: English (PDF, 0.1mb) | Spanish (PDF, 0.2mb)

Tackling violence, building peace: English (PDF, 0.3mb) | Spanish (PDF, 0.3mb)

Fair shares in a constrained world: English (PDF, 0.1mb) | Spanish (PDF, 0.2mb)