GIZ has had a presence in El Salvador since 1963. The GIZ office in the capital San Salvador is one of the larger offices in Central America; 64 national personnel and 13 seconded staff from Germany are based there, along with two integrated experts in partner institutions (as at April 2016). GIZ’s primary focus in the country is to implement regional programmes.
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and also the most densely populated, even though around a quarter of the population lives and works abroad. More than 20% of its gross domestic product is made up of remittances from abroad. However, the population uses this money mainly for household spending rather than investing it. The country lies in a mountainous region and has limited agricultural land, virtually no raw materials and little industry. Most of the goods it needs have to be imported. The ‘El Niño’ weather phenomenon and the impact of climate change are exacerbating the situation. Along with economic and social factors, such as declining willingness on the part of companies to invest, low state revenues, and levels of violent crime that severely impede freedom of movement, these conditions pose complex challenges to development.
Many of these challenges can only be tackled through cooperation with neighbouring countries. Cooperation will also be crucial to making full use of El Salvador’s potential, such as its large renewable energy resources. The country has, therefore, been actively committed to boosting regional integration. The Central American Integration System (SICA) was founded in 1991 and has its headquarters in San Salvador. SICA’s mission is to promote sustainable economic, social, cultural and political development across the region. German development cooperation in El Salvador also takes a regional approach and has been cooperating intensively with SICA since 2006.
Working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is currently implementing primarily regional programmes with SICA and its sub-organisations in El Salvador. The thematic priority areas are:
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency
- Environmental protection and natural resources
- Sustainable economic development
In addition, GIZ is implementing projects in the area of good governance, on prevention of youth violence and good financial governance.
In the area of environmental protection, GIZ is also implementing a regional project as part of the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
A bilateral project carried out on behalf of BMZ is, meanwhile, providing advice on fiscal policy to the El Salvador Ministry of Finance.
In the context of existing projects and programmes, there is intensive collaboration with private sector companies and other donor countries and through triangular cooperation arrangements with Germany and Latin American partner countries.
Projects and Programmes
government and democracy
Environment and climate change
Economic development and employment
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