When climate disasters, conflicts, and other crises occur, a community’s capacity to withstand the shocks and adapt to them is what differentiates those who recover from those who suffer.
Today, we find ourselves in uncertain times. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak sends shock waves around the world, resilience is becoming more vital than ever.
But what do we mean by resilience? Resilience is more than meaningless jargon. When defined and measured, it is evidence that people can recover from economic, social, and physical challenges and escape living in a state of chronic vulnerability.
ACDI/VOCA programs around the world aim to build resilience by:
- improving food security and nutrition
- reconciling communities affected by conflict
- strengthening economic systems to move communities from reliance on foreign aid to self-reliance
- developing approaches to engage youth, women, the LGBTQ+ community, indigenous peoples, disabled peoples, the rural poor, and others in economic markets
- mitigating climate challenges and managing natural resources
- bridging the gap between governments, foundations, and the private sector
- adapting our approach as we go.
Overcoming Drought in Kenya’s Arid Lands
Kenya’s Isiolo and Marsabit counties experience frequent droughts that threaten livestock and local incomes. ACDI/VOCA manages the Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity, a USAID-supported portfolio of programs, to reduce these threats by enabling households to earn more by diversifying their income sources.
The Activity uses a push – pull approach. It facilitates the pull of a more competitive livestock value chain by strengthening institutions and governance, especially in how they manage natural resources like rangeland and water access. And it facilitates the push to equip marginalized people with skills and resources.
Improving Food Security and Nutrition in Burkina Faso
Increasing conflict among armed groups and jihadists, primarily in Burkina Faso’s northern region, has led to a humanitarian crisis. At the same time, already low levels of food security in some areas have been exacerbated by conflict.
The Victory Against Malnutrition (ViM) Activity, funded by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, increased household incomes by 49 percent and lowered the number of households with moderate to severe hunger from 43 to 12 percent. This boost in resilience is continuing now under the ViMPlus Activity, which is expanding its interventions to also focus on governance, disaster risk management, and more.
Connecting Farmers to Economic Markets in Ghana
We help Ghanaian farmers earn more by connecting them to maize, rice, and soybean buyers. We also help them access financing through commercial farmers, who have the capacity and incentive to invest in them. With financing, farmers can pay off their debts. They can also take out loans, either to expand their enterprises or recover from losses related to weather events and other shocks.
This unique model under the Feed the Future Ghana Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement II Activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, supports both farmers and emerging commercial agriculture simultaneously.
Read a message from ACDI/VOCA President & CEO CJ Hall on our response to Covid-19.