About the LWF Department for World Service

The LWF Department for World Service is the internationally recognized humanitarian and development arm of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The Department for World Service (DWS) works with marginalized and disadvantaged communities in areas of greatest vulnerability and endemic need. In these efforts, DWS cooperates closely with churches and related agencies, and in the framework of Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, as an instrument of the ecumenical movement.


The DWS is faith lived out in action. The DWS—as part of the global diakonia of the church—intends to take up the challenge from Psalm 82:3: “uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed.” This phrase summarizes the conviction of the DWS that the poor and needy are not objects of charity but have the right to a life in dignity. In this respect, the “rights-based approach” of the DWS is Scripture-based and is connected with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, as well as on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The Department for World Service provides humanitarian aid and assists in rehabilitation and development in more than 30 countries. With programs in Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America, and Europe, the DWS has a distinguished record of linking compassionate and professional emergency response with competence in rehabilitation programs and effective long-term development efforts.


Empowerment is a key concept for the DWS. The DWS reaches out to marginalized and vulnerable poor people whose livelihoods are threatened by the effects of natural and human-made disaster, with special regard to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, and the staff is committed to building people’s capacity and competence to make informed decisions about their own lives.The DWS extends its services without discriminating on the basis of religion, ethnicity, race, sex, caste, nationality or political conviction.


The DWS actively participates in global networks and cooperates with ecumenical partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN organizations as well as with governments. It is an important strength of the DWS that through the network of churches and congregations, local and international efforts are connected. The Department for World Service primarily works in remote areas in regions and countries with high vulnerability to disaster, where adequate local capacities and services are not available and which other agencies have difficulties reaching.

About the Lutheran World Federation

The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of churches in the Lutheran tradition on a common journey of renewal. The LWF strives to put our faith into action within and beyond the communion, and seek God’s Word and Spirit to guide us. The 148 member churches represent of 75.5 million people from the Lutheran Tradition. The three areas of work in 99 countries around the globe help us to strive for our five core values, responding to God's grace through Jesus Christ. 

To learn more, visit The Lutheran World Federation's website