LIVE UPDATES

Find Out Where and How Relief International is Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic

Refugees, families displaced from their homes, and the people we serve in the world’s most fragile settings will be hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has officially reached all of the sixteen countries where Relief International works. Our teams are on the frontline every day, responding to outbreaks in the world’s most fragile settings.


Get live updates on our COVID-19 response
economic-opportunity-hero-20092019.jpg
What we do

Economic Opportunity

economic.png

Economic Opportunity

Overview

To achieve the most lasting development in fragile settings, one intervention is more powerful than all the rest: creating jobs.

Relief International’s economic opportunity programs are based on the belief that creating employment is the most critical pathway to building resilience for communities in vulnerable situations. Our programs are based on sustainable, enterprise-oriented solutions. We help small producers and other entrepreneurs build businesses that transform their communities, create quality jobs, and increase productivity, market opportunities, and incomes. We do this by expanding access to small-scale technologies that are appropriate for fragile settings, as well as providing technical assistance, knowledge, and financial support.

All of Relief International’s livelihoods work is underpinned by protection measures. This means we ensure that groups with high vulnerability or special needs have access and dignity in attaining the economic opportunities they need to thrive.

Our economic opportunities programs include:

  • Energy projects like fuel efficient cookstoves, solar power, and small-scale village electrification that offer environmentally-friendly solutions that lower expenses.
  • Promotion of low-cost technologies, all locally manufactured by the local private sector using techniques that do not require costly imported machinery.
  • Boosting incomes while protecting biodiversity through profitable resource management and industry building.
  • Agribusiness initiatives that alleviate poverty through enterprise-focused agricultural interventions.
  • Fostering entrepreneurship for forcibly displaced persons by providing training, start-up grants, and establishing community savings and loan groups.
  • Providing cash-based assistance to families during emergencies or times of economic strain to stimulate the local economy.
  • Establishing household gardens that enable women to sell excess produce at the market to generate more income.
Our Impact in 2019

Where we focus in economic opportunity

65K
people in Ghana with increased income from producing or selling our Gyapa™ cookstove since 2007
28K
people with increased income in Afghanistan, 15,664 of whom were women
23K
jobs created for women and men in fragile settings worldwide
South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Enterprise Development in Fragile Settings

Lebanon

Cash Assistance Helps Meet Syrian Refugees’ Most Urgent Needs

Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley shelters more than 350,000 Syrian refugees, 71% of whom live below the poverty line. Syrian refugee, Yara, who receives cash assistance from Relief International, tells her story.

READ MORE

Bangladesh

Life among the Mangroves: Eco-Tourism in Bangladesh’s Sundarbans Forest

Bangladeshi communities have long relied on the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest for their lives and livelihoods, exposing these critical resources to overexploitation. In recent years, Relief International has partnered with local communities to launch eco-friendly businesses that provide jobs while protecting this natural site.

READ MORE

Afghanistan

Progress for Women Means Progress for All

Afghanistan is one of the toughest places in the world to be a woman. Relief International is working in Afghanistan to change the future for the country’s most vulnerable women and girls. Our programs work to lift up women like Zarifa, who possess the motivation and ideas to build a successful business, but are held back by access to resources and the gender barriers faced by women in fragile, conflict-affected settings.

READ MORE

South Sudan

Training Female Entrepreneurs to be Market Leaders

In 2016, a vocational training center for both refugees and the host community was set up in Bunj. Here, 25 women are being trained in food preparation and baking.

READ MORE

Iraq

Banking on the Unbanked: Microfinance in Iraq

Since 2006, Relief International has provided more than $60 million in credit products tailored specifically to low-income households and small businesses in Iraq that are unable to access financing through traditional banks.

READ MORE

Ghana

The Gyapa Cookstove: A Thriving, Climate-Friendly Business

Since 2007, Relief International has worked alongside Ghanaian communities and the CO2 emissions experts at ClimateCare to design, produce and sell a safer cooking solution: the Gyapa™ cookstove.

READ MORE
Randa holds her son Jasem, 2, in front of her makeshift shelter in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Elie Gardner/RI

Lebanon

Cash Assistance Helps Meet Syrian Refugees’ Most Urgent Needs

RI Staff/RI

Bangladesh

Life among the Mangroves: Eco-Tourism in Bangladesh’s Sundarbans Forest

afghanistan-weat-hero-03102020.jpg

Afghanistan

Progress for Women Means Progress for All

South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

South Sudan

Training Female Entrepreneurs to be Market Leaders

The Relief International microfinance team visits the Metrography Agency in Iraq. RI

Iraq

Banking on the Unbanked: Microfinance in Iraq

Ghana. RI

Ghana

The Gyapa Cookstove: A Thriving, Climate-Friendly Business

Randa holds her son Jasem, 2, in front of her makeshift shelter in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Elie Gardner/RI
RI Staff/RI
afghanistan-weat-hero-03102020.jpg
South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI
The Relief International microfinance team visits the Metrography Agency in Iraq. RI
Ghana. RI
Randa holds her son Jasem, 2, in front of her makeshift shelter in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Elie Gardner/RI

Cash Assistance Helps Meet Syrian Refugees’ Most Urgent Needs

RI Staff/RI

Life among the Mangroves: Eco-Tourism in Bangladesh’s Sundarbans Forest

afghanistan-weat-hero-03102020.jpg

Progress for Women Means Progress for All

South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Training Female Entrepreneurs to be Market Leaders

The Relief International microfinance team visits the Metrography Agency in Iraq. RI

Banking on the Unbanked: Microfinance in Iraq

Ghana. RI

The Gyapa Cookstove: A Thriving, Climate-Friendly Business

Featured Resources

Client Perspective

Through Relief International's business skills training program, I learned to design attractive gift boxes and how to reach my clients directly without any middle-men. Now I earn more profit.

impact-quote-maryam-e1566225056320.jpg
South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Get in touch

For more information on Relief International’s work in economic opportunity, please contact [email protected]