At least, four out of ten children that live In areas most affected by violence are out-of-school. Children faced risks such as forced recruitment and sexual violence. 

This three boys have returned to school through the NRC's education project. They were identify, participated in workshops to access to education. 

In Honduras and El Salvador, we help children to access to education in neighborhoods most affected by violence to protect their dreams. 

Funded by European Union (ECHO)

Photo: Up Studio/NRC, 2019
Read caption At least four out of ten children that live in areas most affected by violence are out of school in Honduras. These three boys have returned to school through NRC's education project. Photo: Up Studio/NRC

NRC in North of Central America and Mexico

Organised crime and gang violence has created a devastating humanitarian crisis in North of Central America and Mexico. The murder rates in Honduras and El Salvador are among the highest in the world.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2020.


Humanitarian overview

Displacement caused by generalised violence is affecting communities in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Official figures are either outdated or non-existent, but according to IDMC over 1.2 million people were internally displaced within these countries in 2019.

Criminal gangs exert heavy territorial control in the region. Extortion, restrictions on mobility, threats, intimidation, kidnapping, sexual violence and homicides are common. Massacres occur regularly. This context has been likened to a war situation.

According to the November 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, 9.2 million people need humanitarian assistance in this region, 1.8 million people need protection due to the impacts of violence and 3.5 million people are living with acute food insecurity. These figures were researched before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and before tropical storms Eta and Iota, which hit the region in November 2020. Since then, the scope of the crisis has only increased.

As the second wave of Covid-19 is underway, mass displacement, food insecurity, school abandonment, social unrest, violence, protection and housing needs, are all predicted to rise in the coming months.

People we helped in North of Central America in 2020

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC's operation

NRC has been working in the north of Central America since 2014, meeting the needs of tens of thousands affected by violence and natural disasters, including the internally displaced, refugees, people in need of international protection, deported people, and their hosts.

We advocate for the recognition of the humanitarian crisis affecting the north of Central America and we contribute to the development of policy aiming to protect the rights of the displaced. We call for increased humanitarian funding and engagement on processes that will generate structural changes in protection and assistance in the region.

Areas of operation:

  • Honduras: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Choloma
  • El Salvador: San Salvador
  • Guatemala: Ciudad de Guatemala
  • Mexico: Tapachula

NRC EducationEducation

We work to ensure that children and youth have access to education and safe schools. In collaboration with local communities and local and national authorities, our teams:

  • identify out-of-school children and youth, and establish study groups for those who want to continue their education
  • prepare children to resume education activities and gain basic skills to remain safe
  • promote and provide safe education opportunities
  • strengthen the capabilities of local communities and institutions

Despite the current pandemic, we continue to work to ensure children remain connected to learning.

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

To protect those who had to flee their homes, as well as those deported back to the region, we:

  • provide information and counselling on humanitarian assistance, asylum procedures, and other legal pathways for people in need of international protection
  • support authorities at local and national level to develop legal frameworks or improve practices to protect the rights of the forcibly displaced
  • provide services to ensure access to Refugee Status Determination (RSD) and housing, land and property rights

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

To support those affected by displacement, violence and natural disasters we:

  • facilitate access to our partners’ shelters
  • upgrade and maintain collective centres ensuring the good functioning of sanitation and handwashing facilities
  • distribute water and hygiene kits and promote good hygiene practices
  • build the capacity of local organisations and institutions to respond to displacement emergencies, in line with the international humanitarian standards

As part of our Covid-19 emergency response, we are rehabilitating schools to allow children to return to an environment where safety requirements can be met, and we work with school staff and communities to promote hygiene messages.

Cash assistance

Whenever possible, when assisting individuals and families facing high protection risks and other emergency situations, we utilise technology to distribute cash to allow people to cover their shelter or transportation costs, to buy food, hygiene products, or access public services and pay documentation fees.

NRC is grateful for the generous support of our donors:
  • European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway (NMFA)
  • Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Your support saves lives and brings hope. Your support helps us to assist people fleeing extreme violence and natural disasters in the North of Central America and Mexico.

About NRC in North of Central America and Mexico

International Staff
Areas of operation
Tegucigalpa (country office); Honduras: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Choloma; El Salvador: San Salvador; Guatemala: Ciudad de Guatemala; Mexico: Tapachula
Budget 2021
NOK 65 million
National staff

Contact NRC North of Central America and Mexico

Country Director

Angelita Caredda