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 Central America

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



Humanitarian overview

Displacement caused by generalised violence is affecting communities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Nearly 700,000 people have been internally displaced within these countries.

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

The internally displaced people live in slums or informal settlements in big cities that are increasingly controlled by gangs, and lack basic services, education, and income opportunities.

Despite nascent government efforts, the inability of the governments to protect people forces many to flee their countries. Most flee to Mexico and the US, or to Costa Rica and Panama. Hundreds of thousands are deported back to their home countries, where they require assistance and protection.

In 2018, Honduras, Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Mexicans were in the top ten nationalities claiming asylum in the world, alongside people from Syria, Venezuela, South Sudan and Afghanistan.

People we helped in North Central America in 2019

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

We run operations in two countries in NCA. We work in Honduras, from our two field offices there, and in El Salvador, where we work in partnership with the Norwegian Red Cross and the Salvadorian Red Cross.

People fleeing violence often remain anonymous in fear of reprisals. This makes it difficult for humanitarian organisations, including NRC, to reach them.

NRC EducationEducation

In Honduras, we aim to ensure that children and youth have access to education and safe schools. 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 also to gain basic skills to remain safe
  • promote and provide safe education opportunities
  • support local and national institutions to fulfil displaced children’s right to education
  • strengthen the capabilities of local communities, an important step towards safeguarding their rights

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

To protect Hondurans and Salvadorians who had to flee their homes, we:

  • provide information and counselling rights to displaced people
  • provide humanitarian assistance to Hondurans and Salvadorians in need of international protection who have been deported back from Mexico and the U.S.
  • provide humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs
  • support the Honduran and El Salvador governments at local and national level to develop legal frameworks and 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 for people in need of international protection in Panama and Costa Rica
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)
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • Disaster Preparedness - European Commission (DIPECHO)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway (NMFA)
  • Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (BPRM)

Your support will save lives and bring hope. Your support helps us to assist people fleeing extreme violence in Honduras and El Salvador.

About NRC in North Central America

International Staff
Areas of operation
Bogotá (Regional office); Honduras: Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Choloma; El Salvador: San Salvador; Guatemala: Ciudad de Guatemala
Budget 2019
USD 2.1 million
National staff

Contact NRC North Central America

Country Director (based in Colombia)

Dominika Arseniuk


(+571) 514 0461