10 Facts About Hunger In El Salvador

Did you know that El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America? It is classified as a middle income country (MIC). Here are ten facts that provide insight on the hunger situation in El Salvador. Please help the World Food Programme (WFP) raise awareness by sharing these important facts on Twitter.

1) Thirty-six percent of El Salvador's rural population lives in poverty.

2) Seventeen percent of children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. In some rural areas, the percentage can be as high as 40 percent.

3) Two percent of children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, in 2008 it was one percent. In 2013, the government identified 37 municipalities with acute malnutrition with rates above 2.5 percent.

4) Fifty-one percent of children under the age of one living in rural areas suffer from anemia due to iron deficiency.

5) Nine percent of children are born underweight, this indicator has increased in the last two years. Six percent of children under the age of five are overweight. 

6) In the last two years, El Salvador has been affected by slow onset emergencies such as Coffee Rust, which has affected approximately 65,000 people whose income depends exclusively on coffee cultivation; it is still an ongoing problem. WFP has supported the government in providing assistance to 55,000 persons affected by the Coffee Rust crisis through capacity building workshops and asset creation vouchers.

7) Based on data from the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) the drought in El Salvador affected a total of 85,430 people. From December 2014 to date, WFP has supported the government in providing assistance to approximately 40,950 people.

8) On 16 May, 2011 the government of El Salvador reiterated its commitment to nutrition in the country as they decreed the “Policy on Food and Nutrition Security”.

9) The government of El Salvador has a Nutrition Care and Early Childhood Development strategy that focuses on the first 1,000 days of life. The project covers 28 percent of the municipalities and it is necessary to support this effort in order to increase its coverage.

10) The Project Nutrimos El Salvador (Nourishing El Salvador), implemented by WFP, supports the efforts of the El Salvadoran government in preventing chronic malnutrition, and for the past five years it has helped 54,807 participants, focusing on the first 1,000 days of life.

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.


- Obesity and Nutrition: EFSA
- Anemia: FESAL 2008
- Drought and Coffee Rust: A WFP Study