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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.
South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI
Our Impact in 2021

Where we focus in economic opportunity

253K
people in Ghana with fuel savings from purchasing a Gyapa™ cookstove in 2020
15K
people trained on critical skills and capacity building for increased access to economic opportunities
18K
jobs created for people in fragile settings worldwide
South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Enterprise Development in Fragile Settings

South Sudan

Cultivating Fruits, Vegetables and Financial Stability in South Sudan

Hassan and his family have lived in South Sudan since fleeing the armed conflict in Sudan’s Blue Nile region.

When they first arrived in South Sudan, they survived on monthly food ratios, but in 2020, Hassan took part in an RI horticultural program that gave him practical training on how to grow fruits and vegetables.

Now Hassan grows more than enough food for his family, and sells the rest at local markets.

 

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Philippines

Working Towards a Brighter Future in the Philippines

COVID-19 has led to worse living conditions for displaced families in the Philippines. Relief International has helped them through a unique program that helps fight the pandemic and support the families most affected by it, at the same time.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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South Sudan

Cultivating Fruits, Vegetables and Financial Stability in South Sudan

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Philippines

Working Towards a Brighter Future in the Philippines

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

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

Iraq

Banking on the Unbanked: Microfinance in Iraq

South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

South Sudan

Training Female Entrepreneurs to be Market Leaders

Ghana. RI

Ghana

The Gyapa Cookstove: A Thriving, Climate-Friendly Business

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

Cultivating Fruits, Vegetables and Financial Stability in South Sudan

Sauda-A_-scaled.jpg

Working Towards a Brighter Future in the Philippines

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

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

Banking on the Unbanked: Microfinance in Iraq

South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Training Female Entrepreneurs to be Market Leaders

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.

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South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Get in touch

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