El Salvador: A case study in the role of the affected state in humanitarian action

Weiss Fagen, P.
Publication language
Date published
01 Mar 2008
Research, reports and studies
National & regional actors, Government
El Salvador

The following case study of state responses to disasters in El Salvador was undertaken in the context of a broader project on ‘The Role of Affected States in Humanitarian Action’, overseen by the Overseas Development Institute. It sets out to examine the degree to which the Salvadoran state, in the aftermath of decades of conflict, assumed responsibilities for meeting humanitarian needs during three natural disasters that affected the country between 2001 and 2005, and how the state’s response has evolved since 2005. The analysis encompasses the actions of international aid actors and donors during these disasters, and their past and current support for state mechanisms for prevention and preparedness. Research was carried out during a ten-day mission to El Salvador in November 2007. The researcher interviewed key actors in government, NGOs and international agencies. In addition, the researcher assembled extensive materials relating to the events and analysing the consequences of national and international interventions.