El Salvador continues to struggle against gang-related crime and violence. While the homicide rate has fallen every year since 2015, reaching 18 per 100,000 in 2021 (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 that have focused on reclaiming the most insecure parts of the country from gangs and rebuilding communities through increased economic opportunities and social development. USAID continues to collaborate with the government, private sector and civil society organizations to build on security advances.


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 target municipalities and communities to develop and implement local violence prevention policies and programs.  To protect vulnerable populations and victims, USAID increases access to services for victims and helps strengthen measures to protect human rights.  USAID helps strengthen the justice system to detect, investigate, and prosecute violent crimes and corruption, placing particular emphasis on support services for crime victims. 


  • ​​​New Path for Social Reintegration ($4.7 million) --This project helps reduce criminal recidivism rate in youth through rehabilitation and reinsertion programs, including educational and vocational training programs; sensitizing the private sector on social inclusion; and encouraging community involvement to reintegrate youth that have been in conflict with the law to avoid repeat criminal behavior.
  • 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 ($25 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.

  • NIDO:  Building Safe Communities ($10 million USAID; $10 million private sector)—The NIDO project is a USAID alliance with Glasswing International to improve citizen security in high crime communities. Activities include job training and entrepreneurship programs for out-of-school youth and after-school programs.

  • LibrES: Por un El Salvador sin Violencia de Género (Gender-Based Violence Prevention) ($35 million)--Through the LibrES project, USAID promotes gender-based violence prevention, victims’ assistance, and judicial accountability for perpetrators.

  • Citizen Security Project ($43 million) --The Citizen Security Project works with municipalities, community organizations, and private businesses on crime and violence prevention through activities that provide alternatives for vulnerable youth, including after school programs, vocational training, and creating safe public spaces. The project will also help rehabilitate and reinsert youth who have been in conflict with the law, through psycho-social services, educational programs, and vocational training to avoid repeat criminal behavior. 

USAID provides alternatives for vulnerable youth with after school programs, vocational training, and creating safe public spaces
USAID provides alternatives for vulnerable youth with after school programs, vocational training, and creating safe public spaces
Tripode for USAID