El Salvador

El SalvadorINCAP's Technical Cooperation Coordinator in this country: Gerardo Merino
Address: 73 Avenida Sur #135, Colonia Escalón, San Salvador, El Salvador
Phone: (503)2223-5582; 2279-4231; 2298-3491; 2298-3306

salvadorThe Government of El Salvador through the Executive Decree No. 63 dated October 2009, created the National Council for Food and Nutritional Security (CONASAN) and has recognized the feeding right as a human fundamental right by committing to develop necessary actions to respect and protect it, as well as to facilitate and secure its fulfillment. Furthermore, this right has been ratified by the Government on several international agreements and is committed in the Constitution of the Republic. The Decree for the constitution of CONASAN established that the Food and Nutritional Security is a prior action for the Government and for the pursuit of its objectives, all organisms belonging and attributed to the Executive Organism are obliged to fulfill the terms that the Decree established.

At national level is recognized that the Government have the mandate to guarantee life quality and right for feeding of the population. The Constitution of the Republic of 1983 establishes on its clause 1 that "El Salvador recognizes to human person as the origin and end of the Government activity", and consequently, the Government is obliged to secure to the population of the Republic liberty, health, culture, economical welfare and social justice. Clause 2 explains "that all people has right to life, physical and moral integrity, liberty, security, work, ownership and possession and the conservation and defense of such aspects must be protected".

Clause 65 recognizes that "health of the Republic populations constitutes a public good. Government and people are obliged to watch for its conservation and reestablishment".

Furthermore, there is a group of clause related to education, health, technical assistance to small producers and the protection of natural resources, environment and work rights, among others; which are narrowly linked with Food and Nutritional Security. It is important to stand out that the Constitution of El Salvador considers that the social aspect must prevail over the economical. At the same time, it focuses on the protection of natural resources to guarantee the sustainable development which it is linked with the Food and Nutritional Security in the country.

Currently, there is not a specific Law of Food and Nutritional Security in the country, although, there are initiatives of Law under formulation and discussion.

It has been supported to the National Committee of Breastfeeding for the preparation of the Policy of Protection, Promotion and Support to the Breastfeeding which was official during the month of August by the Secretary of Social Inclusion of the First Lady of the Republic together with the Minister of Health.

The training to professionals about planning, preparation, implementation and assessment of programs on physical activity promotion of the members of the Physical Activity Net in El Salvador at local, departmental and national level in the field of public health was supported during the XVII International Course of Physical Activity and Public Health, celebrated on April 6
Learned lessons
In the technical cooperation work in El Salvador can be identified the following learned lessons, which reflects interesting conclusions and recommendations:
  1. INCAP technical cooperation has a recognized presence and prestige in the country.
  2. Even though, there are important advances on FNS, the country requires a lot of technical support to concrete actions, and assists the most vulnerable population with right focus.
  3. INCAP´s work in the country is supported with the technical capacity and the care of country demands, however, it is evident our limited capacity to face operational expenses in the accompaniment of cooperation processes.
  4. INCAP has important challenges on short term to provide accompaniment to multiple cooperation requests of the different counterparts, but it is important to have financial resources that allow responding and facilitating the alliances with other cooperation organisms. At the same time, we must strength the mobilization of resources to provide a more efficient and adequate cooperation.
  5. The presence in the country of Food and Nutritional Security projects with huge financial capacity, offers to the counterparts incentives to accompany FNS processes, competing and frequently makes difficult the cooperation provision of INCAP.
  6. PAHO/WHO has been an important and valuable allied for INCAP´s work.
  7. It is necessary to support the institutional visibility and having higher accompaniment at country level from the headquarters office to respond precisely the demand of cooperation and keep the institutional presence.
Main challenges for 2012
Among the most important challenges identified for the technical cooperation in the country, we can mention the following:
  1. Nutritional assistance in the cycle of life, mainly on prevention of diseases.
  2. Assistance on nutritional diseases in the different levels of assistance.
  3. Promotion of Food and Nutritional Security in households, mainly on those vulnerable.
  4. Promotion, protection and support to breastfeeding and child feeding.
  5. Communication and food and nutritional education for the population.
  6. Quality and innocuousness of foods.
  7. Food and nutritional assistance in disaster situations.
  8. Surveillance of nutritional status of the population.
  9. Applied investigation on feeding and nutrition to generate evidence and facilitate the decision making.
  10. Creation and analysis of reliable data for making decisions. Training and education of human resources (personnel rotation and new contracts).
  11. Strengthening of CONASAN.
  12. Strengthening of the Nutrition Unit of MINSAL.
  13. Additionally, it is important to mention that a permanent challenge is the technical cooperation of INCAP in the country is the limited financial resources for the functioning and provision of technical cooperation, institutional visibility, harmonization of agendas and interests with PAHO/WHO counterparts and services provisions with quality according to the necessities of the country.
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