Humanitarian Response

As one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, El Salvador has experienced many natural disasters and emergencies; the probability of dying from a natural disaster in El Salvador is four times the world’s average. This is comprehensible when taking into account the country’s underlying economic downturn or its environmental degradation but also considering an ever increasing number of families living in high risk areas (95.4 % according to World Bank) and the limited local capacity to respond to any type of emergencies.

Community members being trained on first aids by Save the Children volunteers and local rescue team to effectively respond to an emergency situation. Photo by Save the Children field staff

El Salvador has endured earthquakes, floods, epidemics, and a civil war in the past three decades and Save the Children has always responded in a swift manner. Save the Children’s contribution is aimed at preparing communities to respond effectively to disasters and protect livelihoods. This is mainly achieved through the support of local organizations and government institutions by applying the humanitarian principles: save lives, alleviate suffering and preserve human dignity.

Save the Children responds within the first 24 hours of an emergency by providing basic needs to affected population. One of the main directives is to protect children in shelters and support their physical, emotional and social recovery while simultaneously protecting them from abuse and exploitation. A very critical aspect after an emergency is to restore the livelihoods of all affected families as soon as possible hence one of Save the Children’s priorities is to build resilient communities from traumatic experiences and, most importantly, from their capacity to overcome extremely difficult situations.