SICA: Urban Resilience: Strengthening disaster risk management in Central American metropolitan regions

Project description

Title: Improvement and harmonisation of disaster risk management with a special focus on metropolitan regions of the member countries of the Central American Integration System
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: El Salvador (headquarters), Honduras​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Central American Secretariat for Social Integration (SISCA) of the Central American Integration System (SICA)​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2021 to 2024

Land-use planning as an integral component of prospective disaster risk management in cities. © GIZ/ Javier Kaffie


Central America is one of the regions most threatened by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and (hydro)meteorological hazards such as heavy rainfall and hurricanes, which climate change is making increasingly common. Around five regional natural disasters occur each year in the area, whereby cities are most greatly affected. Informal settlements, which are home to almost 30 per cent of the population, suffer substantial damage, losses or injuries, particularly as a result of flooding and landslides. This aggravates the already precarious situation of the local people – especially women, who are subject to high rates of violence and a lack of social and economic prospects.

In most countries, however, the focus has so far lied on an improved response to disasters rather than on prevention and foresighted planning. Actors are not efficiently networked at regional and national level, while cities lack the capacities for developing prospective solutions to local problems.

Aerial view of the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador, El Salvador. © GIZ/ Javier Kaffie


The metropolitan regions of San Salvador and Tegucigalpa are better prepared to minimise the risks of climate change in urban planning.

Meeting between GIZ and the Council of Mayors and Planning Office for the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador.  © GIZ/ Javier Kaffie


The project collaborates with the Central American Secretariat for Social Integration (SISCA) and the Central American Council for Housing and Human Settlements (CCVAH) to improve the support offered for disaster risk management (DRM). The aim is to make it easier for cities to access technical, financial and human resources from higher-level institutions in order to minimise disaster risks in the context of urbanisation and climate change. Together with the governments of the pilot countries, El Salvador and Honduras, the project is developing approaches for integrated urban DRM. The different sectors coordinate these approaches with one another, taking account of cross-cutting issues such as gender equality. In cities, the project is reinforcing the options for administrations and civil society to take action in the area of DRM.

Last revised: December 2021

Additional information