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 (1980-1992). It is highly susceptible to natural disasters and is one of the most violent countries in the world.
We support communities to become resilient in the face of climate change and conflict, including gang, gender and institutional violence.
Our programme adopts a rights-based approach, addressing the structural causes of vulnerability and exclusion, not just the symptoms. It is also conflict-sensitive and promotes a 'do no harm' approach.
We aim to build the capacity of partners and communities so they have a better understanding of fiscal justice, resilience, inequality and violence prevention issues, and how they apply directly to people’s lives. Our partners also advocate for policy change on issues like climate change and sustainability.
We work with poor families in rural, semi-urban and urban communities who are marginalised, landless or living at subsistence level – prioritising women, youth and ethnic groups who have historically been excluded and discriminated against.
- To help communities to be resilient to inequality and poverty.
- To build resilience to earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, landslides, droughts and volcanic eruptions.
- To address inequality by advocating for tax justice, transparency and accountability, and promoting the human rights of vulnerable groups.
- To tackle violence by demanding the protection of vulnerable groups by the government.
In El Salvador we work on...
Our partner Iniciativa Social para la Democracia (ISD) promotes transparency and citizens’ participation. Its work with local authorities and national government ensures that the needs of poor people are included in the government agenda and taken into account by decision makers.
Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD) defends the human rights of women, youth and LGBTI people, promoting dialogue in communities affected by violence.
Organización de Mujeres Salvadoreñas por la Paz (ORMUSA) strengthens women's organisations, helping them to demand public policies on violence against women and for the protection of sexual and reproductive rights.
Fundación Nacional para el Desarrollo (FUNDE) researches tax issues to formulate proposals that contribute to the equity, sustainability and efficiency of public finances.
Unión Ecológica Salvadoreña (UNES) helps communities to understand the impact of climate change and play a key role in climate change advocacy at national and regional levels, ensuring the government meets its commitments.
In 2016, specialised courts for cases of violence against women were created as a result of the persistent advocacy work of feminist organisations in El Salvador, including Christian Aid partner ORMUSA.
Thanks to the advocacy work of the environmental movement, including Christian Aid partner UNES, when the government of El Salvador ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 it introduced a law on climate change.
With the support of Christian Aid partner ISD, leaders from municipalities of the Morazán department, in northeast El Salvador, have strengthened their accountability skills and made local government budgets more transparent.
ORMUSA has taught me to speak in public and with state institution staff. Now I can better advise young women in my community about sexual and reproductive health issues that they do not dare talk to their mums about. And I can better coordinate with the Ministry of Health promoter who visits my community.
- Johana del Carmen Granadeño., Leader of a Health Community Comision in La Paz department. .
Irish Aid governance programme grant, 2017-21
In 2017, Christian Aid Ireland began a new five-year funding partnership with Irish Aid – the Irish government’s development agency. El Salvador is involved in three of the programme's key objectives:
- participation, accountable governance and human rights
- tackling violence and building peace
- women’s empowerment and gender equality
EU reproductive health rights project
Funded by the European Union, the project aims to secure improved sexual and reproductive health for vulnerable women and girls in Central America living in poverty and in experiencing violence, including indigenous and marginalised women.
Adapting to climate change
The 'knowledge management and good practices for adaptation to climate change' project in Central America seeks to consolidate the capacity of civil society organisations and local populations. It aims to improve technical knowledge about climate change, and complement this with local knowledge.