Bringing Relief to Families in El Salvador

World Food Program USA
March 11, 2016

For the second year in a row, Central America has suffered a devastating drought that has pushed tens of thousands of people into hunger. Impoverished families in El Salvador have been among the hardest hit.

Since 2014, El Salvador has experienced historically low rainfall. The weather phenomenon known as El Niño has exacerbated the ongoing natural disaster, resulting in the loss of crops and livelihoods for the country’s subsistence farmers and landless laborers. Right now nearly 100,000 households are struggling to put food on the table.

In fact, more than 3.5 million people across Central America’s “Dry Corridor” – which includes El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua – are now food insecure. Families that rely on farming and livestock for food and income have been disproportionately affected. More than 65 percent of households in the Dry Corridor ran out of food stocks completely by the end of the first harvest season.

WFP is responding by providing emergency food assistance to communities in need. Thanks to the generosity of partners like JPMorgan Chase and the Astellas USA Foundation, WFP is delivering food relief to vulnerable families across El Salvador. This includes food vouchers for more than 2,000 households in areas where markets are still functioning. This approach enables families to purchase fresh eggs, dairy, meat, and vegetables, restoring choice and dignity to their lives. The voucher assistance program is also offered at health care centers to nourish pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children who are especially susceptible to the damage inflicted by malnutrition.