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Canada-El Salvador relations

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Bilateral relations

El Salvador and Canada established diplomatic relations in 1961.  Canada’s contribution to the peace process ending the 1980-1992 civil war, and the successful integration in Canada of Salvadoran refugees have contributed to the positive bilateral relationship. The Salvadoran diaspora in Canada is one of the largest from Latin America. Canada’s engagement with El Salvador is rooted in support for human rights, gender equality, democracy, and socio-economic development.

Canada is supporting multilateral and bilateral security and anti-crime initiatives in El Salvador through different programs. Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program has approximately CAD $45M worth of multi-year operational projects that include El Salvador as part of regional and bilateral initiatives to combat transnational crime, with $4M committed to the country.

These initiatives include support for institutions in investigations and prosecutions or forced disappearances, torture and organized crime through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); support to Avocats sans frontières Canada to combat human trafficking in El Salvador; initiatives with UNODC and OAS Inter-American Committee against terrorism (CICTE) to combat cybercrime and the use of virtual assets to facilitate criminal activities.

Canada and El Salvador recognize Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program as a potential means to address root causes of irregular migration in Central America. El Salvador is interested in Canada’s TFW Program and is collaborating closely with a number of companies in Canada, the federal and provincial governments to promote regular and temporary pathways to migration.

El Salvador is represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa and consulates in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Canada is represented in El Salvador by an embassy in San Salvador.

Education

Canada also supports El Salvador in education efforts through scholarships and awards. The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), launched in 2009, offers short-term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean to study or conduct research in Canada. Academic agreements such as the ELAP help grow research relationships and student exchanges.

Salvadoran students are also Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. For a complete list of available scholarships, visit International Scholarships Program.

Trade relations

Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and El Salvador totaled $180.6 million in 2021.

The main Canadian exports included: farm, fishing and intermediate food products, consumer goods, forestry products and building and packaging materials. The three main Canadian import products were consumer goods, farm, fishing and intermediate food products, and electronic and electrical equipment and parts.

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Development

Through Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), Canada’s international assistance in El Salvador advances an inclusive agenda that promotes access to education, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and the promotion and protection of human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). It also promotes inclusive economic growth, access to justice, democratic and inclusive governance, and increased climate action to improve the lives of the poorest, marginalized and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls, youth, migrants, Indigenous people and Afro-descendants.

Canada is also committed to addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement as well as the exacerbating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its international development program, Canada continues to work towards 2030 to realize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Canada contributes to multi-country and global funds that promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and support climate mitigation and adaptation projects in El Salvador, such as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Readiness Fund, managed by the World Bank, the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas, managed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and through multilateral funds and initiatives for which El Salvador is eligible through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Canada also supports El Salvador with humanitarian assistance to respond to natural disasters and food insecurity.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and El Salvador work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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