El Salvador

Country Nutrition Situation

According to the Global Nutrition Report, El Salvador is currently on track to meet three of its nutrition targets. These include an increase in the number of children being exclusively breastfed for the first five months of their life (currently at 46.7%), and a decrease in children under the age of five experiencing stunting and wasting. However, although figures for the latter two concerns are falling, rates in El Salvador are still higher than average for the Latin America and Caribbean region overall. In the case of its other nutrition targets, the country is showing no improvement – and, in some instances, is seeing rates worsen. Rates of adult obesity remain high, with almost 30% of women and 20% of men affected. The number of women of reproductive age experiencing anaemia also remains a concern (22.7%), as does the amount of adults with diabetes and infants being born at a low weight (10.3%).


Ana María Lemus

SBN El Salvador Coordinator World Food Programme

Governance structure

SBN El Salvador is overseen by and reports to two secretariat: the World Food Programme (WFP) and FUNDEMAS. These two organisations then work closely with an executive committee – composed of members from the WFP, private sector, and the Government of El Salvador – to ensure goals and activities remain aligned.

What is SBN doing in El Salvador

The primary focus of SBN El Salvador’s work is to develop new programmes, projects, innovations, technologies, and affordable and accessible products that will together contribute to a well-nourished Salvadoran population, whilst enhancing its social and economic development. To help achieve this, their strategy also involves strengthening the participation of its members and increasing the role of private sector actors in improving the country’s nutrition status.

After undertaking research and analysis of the private sector in the country, SBN El Salvador outlined three priorities to help achieve their aims:

Facilitate a specialised platform that allows for collaboration to help drive business commitments to nutrition in El Salvador. This includes recruiting and retaining private sector members, and opening dialogue between them and other Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) networks; sourcing and providing information on investment and funding opportunities; and monitoring the progress of businesses in regarding their nutrition commitments.

Raise awareness and visibility within the business community around the importance of good nutrition. This involves enhancing the profile of SBN El Salvador within the country; driving awareness around the importance of good nutrition among private sector businesses and the general population; and conducting research and studies into best practices and security within the food and nutrition sectors.

Promote the development of interventions to encourage pro-nutrition practice within the private sector. This entails identifying the demands, priorities and capacity of businesses with regards to developing interventions for better nutrition, and sourcing opportunities to facilitate these; providing companies with tools, knowledge and training to encourage them to develop initiatives; and encouraging more responsible food and beverage marketing practices.