El Salvador

UNHCR El Salvador Factsheet - January 2021

News and Press Release
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71,500 internally displaced people between 2006 and 2016 according to a profiling exercise led by the Government.

51,437 confirmed cases and 1,509 deaths due to COVID-19 by18 January 2021 (4,705 active cases).

UNHCR is appealing for USD 19 million to support vulnerable people in need of protection in El Salvador.

Operational context

Communities in El Salvador are severely affected by gang violence, extortion, threats to life and sexual violence, as well as other serious human rights violations. This violence has led to the forced displacement of persons seeking protection and access to basic services and livelihood opportunities. According to a profiling exercise on forced internal displacement led by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, 71,500 individuals were displaced throughout the country between 2006 and 2016. In January 2020, El Salvador passed legislation to protect, aid and offer durable solutions to people internally displaced due to violence as well as those who may be at risk of displacement.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are increasing gaps and inequalities in El Salvador, deepening structural weaknesses such as chronic violence and affecting the economy. The health crisis will have a greater impact on vulnerable and low-income households, people with disabilities, children, elderly, indigenous, women, LGBTI population, and displaced or at-risk population. The country is also highly vulnerable to climate risks, threatening food security, water, livelihoods, agricultural production, accentuating the lack of work and resources.

El Salvador is one of the countries with the highest rate of violence in the world, being the youth, women and LGBTI persons the ones who more frequently experience serious human rights violations. Threats, enforced disappearances, extortions, homicides and violence against women continue to hinder the enjoyment of civil and social rights.