Humanitarian and Development work

LWF World Service is the humanitarian and development arm of the LWF

God’s liberating grace empowers and calls us to active and constructive engagement with the world. We relate to people in need as our neighbors whom we love and serve and whose dignity we strongly affirm. Our faith affirms the dignity of every human being, and this forms the basis of human rights. A commitment to the human rights of every individual, regardless of their status, guides our work, actions, and operations.

From LWF’s beginning in 1947, its member churches have mandated World Service as their key actor in international diakonia (service to others) to assist all those in need without discrimination of any kind. Today, World Service is a widely recognized, international, faith-based organization present in 27 countries. We seek to bring people of all backgrounds together in the common quest for justice, peace, and reconciliation in an increasingly complex and fragmented world.

We are particularly known for our timely, compassionate, and professional humanitarian work, and for our field presence in hard-to-reach areas. Our work is people centered and communitybased. Above all, we work with the most vulnerable, and in order to claim and uphold their rights, we engage proactively with local government and community structures.

A defining feature of World Service is its local rootedness and global connectivity, linking local community voices with international dialogue, advocacy, and peace work.

Our emphasis on linking relief with recovery and development enables a flexible approach to meeting human needs and upholding human rights in multiple, demanding environments, as tasked by the member churches of LWF. We are committed to longer term solutions, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that address root causes of poverty so that all can enjoy their rights and a life with dignity.

World Service actively engages with churches, related organizations, interfaith partners, and secular actors, including the United Nations (UN). As part of LWF, we have relationships with our member churches and their development and humanitarian organizations. We are the largest implementing member of the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, an international network of Protestant and Orthodox churches and organizations engaged in development, humanitarian response, and advocacy.

Working together with others enables us to prepare for and respond to emerging challenges in a variety of fragile contexts all over the world.

About World Service

Leadership staff from Lutheran World Federation World Service country programs are meeting with the Communion Office colleagues in Geneva, 10 May 2019. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

World Service supports refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) who, for a shorter or longer period, are unable to return to their homes

Where we work

A Women's Awareness session taking place at the Women Friendly Space (WFS) in Daudiya camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Amedy District, Duhok Governorate, Kurdistan, Iraq. Photo: LWF/Elma Okic

Currently, LWF World service is present across 21 programs in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

How we work

Leadership staff from Lutheran World Federation World Service country programs are meeting with the Communion Office colleagues in Geneva, May 2019. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

Our programmatic framework lifts up three areas of expertise in which LWF World Service already has a wealth of experience and a proven track record


Mr. Man Khatri (in green jacket) interacting with cooperative members from freed Haliya communities at Budar of Doti district. Photo: LWF Nepal

Recognizing that we are more effective when we work with others, World Service operates through strategic partnerships and networks. Managing these relationships in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accountability is key to the future viability and effectiveness of our programs. These partnerships range from local communities to global networks