Speeches Shim


El Salvador continues to struggle against gang-related crime and violence. While the homicide rate has fallen every year since 2015, reaching 20 per 100,000 in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic (according to National Civil Police data), insecurity affects nearly all elements of the economy and society, despite recent improvements. In addition, according to the UN, El Salvador has one of the highest femicide rates in the world.  Further, the country has high rates of impunity: for every 100 murders, only nine perpetrators end up going to jail. Violence destroys communities, keeps kids out of school, inhibits economic growth, and fuels irregular migration.  Despite these challenges, there have been advances in security.  The current Salvadoran government administration has launched a security plan focused on reclaiming the most insecure parts of the country from gangs and rebuilding communities through increased economic opportunities and social development. The plan provides opportunities for USAID to continue collaboration with the government, private sector and civil society organizations to build on security advances, many of which were enabled by U.S. Government support.


USAID targets urban areas with high crime rates, where people are more likely to attempt to migrate, with programs that prevent crime, provide protection for crime victims and other vulnerable populations, and improve the criminal justice system.  USAID supports the government and target communities to develop and implement national and local violence prevention policies and programs.  To protect vulnerable populations and victims, USAID increases access to services for victims and helps strengthen measures to prevent human rights abuses by law enforcement entities.  USAID helps strengthen the justice system to detect, investigate, and prosecute violent crimes and corruption, placing particular emphasis on support services for crime victims. 


  • Juvenile Justice Strengthening Project ($10 million) -- The project promotes alternative sentencing within the Salvadoran juvenile justice system and helps keep youth from becoming repeat offenders or attempting to illegally immigrate to the United States.  It also supports community, religious and other civil society organizations working with youth in conflict with the law through rehabilitation programs.
  • Tertiary Prevention - New Path ($4.8 million) --This project helps reduce criminal recidivism rate in youth through rehabilitation and reinsertion programs, including educational and vocational training programs; service delivery for inmates to facilitate rehabilitation; sensitizing the private sector on social inclusion; and encouraging community action involvement with former gang members.
  • Protection and Quality of Care for Children Project ($4.9 million) --The Protection and Quality of Care for Children Project addresses the rights and needs of El Salvador’s most vulnerable children by strengthening the national child protection system and improving quality of care for all children
  • Rights and Dignity ($15 million) -- Through the project, USAID strengthens human rights advocacy and monitoring of the security sector on these issues and to prevent discrimination and exclusion of vulnerable groups and improve their access to services.


Issuing Country 
Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 11:30am

Last updated: February 14, 2022