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Country Profiles: LWR in El Salvador

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LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF (LWR) has worked in Central America since 1972 to promote sustainable livelihoods for rural farmers. In El Salvador, LWR works with local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), farming cooperatives, international agencies and international foundations to advance rural development and build the capacity of communities to benefit from agricultural opportunities. El Salvador is currently experiencing heightened violence and a lack of gender- and age-inclusive agricultural policies. Poor public agriculture policy and disappointing economic prospects cause individuals in rural areas to emigrate to wealthier countries for safety, jobs and education. This emigration degrades the socio-economic fiber of smallholder farmer livelihoods.

LWR’s El Salvador program emphasizes environmentally sound agricultural practices to sustain yields, provides additional income for farmers, and protect natural resources. LWR’s investments for agriculture value chains and food security initiatives strategically build partners’ capacity to engage with and benefit from the El Salvador government’s renewed commitment to and investments in small-scale agricultural production, including the Family Agriculture Plan. LWR also integrates programs for youth and entrepreneurship to help communities access and maximize existing resources by building strong community-based organizations and providing opportunities for future generations.

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