Impact of U.S. Food Assistance Programs
Purchase for Progress (P4P) is an innovative program of the UN World Food Program that is successfully integrating food assistance with agricultural development. P4P has provided training and funding to more than 116,000 farmers providing the skills needed to compete in formal markets. Warehouse operators and traders have received training to improve agricultural production, post-harvest handling, quality assurance and agricultural finance. By developing the capacity to sell to a buyer as large as WFP, small-scale farmers are producing high-quality yields and increasing their earnings.
Mercy Corps’ Strengthening Institutions for Peace and Development (SIPED) helps build resilience in drought-prone Ethiopian communities by preventing and resolving conflict. SIPED creates ties between communities and local government, empowers officials to identify and address tensions before they turn violent and provides opportunities to promote peaceful, gender-inclusive change. These interventions have improved access to markets, increased freedom of movement and better ensured access to public resources that people rely on during severe drought. As a result, these communities are better able to cope with harsh conditions and less frequently resort to destructive coping mechanisms such as productive asset stripping.
Bolsa Familia is a conditional financial aid program in Brazil that fights poverty and provides a social safety net. In exchange for regular cash transfers, Bolsa Familia requires child school attendance, vaccinations, nutritional monitoring, and prenatal and postnatal tests. For approximately 0.5 percent of Brazil's national GDP, Bolsa Familia has helped lift 12.6 million Brazilians out of poverty, increased school attendance, reduced chronic childhood malnutrition and reduced inequality.
CARE’s Strengthening Household Ability to Respond to Development Opportunities (SHOUHARDO) tackles chronic childhood malnutrition with a holistic approach. SHOUHARDO delivers targeted nutrition interventions to mothers and children while addressing gender-based discrimination, poor sanitation, jobs training and resources to withstand recurring natural disasters. In three and half years, SHOUHARDO was able to reduce stunting -- a measure of chronic malnutrition -- by over 15 percent.
The Development Action Association (DAA), a Ghanaian women farmers’ organization, has made significant contributions to Ghana’s agricultural sector, specifically women small-holder farmers. In 2011 alone DAA trained 161 rural farmers, 80 percent of whom were women, equipping them with the skills to improve farm productivity. DAA regularly provides the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) officials with recommendations on behalf of women farmers. DAA creates linkages between vulnerable populations and decision-making bodies, strengthening entire communities through their targeted work with women and small-scale farmers.
The Alliance to Create Opportunities for Rural Development through Agroenterprise Relationships (ACORDAR) is moving small-scale rural farmers out of low-profit local markets into formal high-profit supply chains. They provide technical skills development which improve outputs and organize farmers into cooperatives to increase economies of scale. The project has helped 7,000 farmers connect with and sell directly to profitable markets. In four years, farmers have increased their income by 44 percent, selling $39.8 million in agricultural products to WalMart, large agricultural exporters, and major coffee and chocolate companies. With ACORDAR, farmers are embracing an identity as rural business people who maintain multiple off-farm relationships with financial service providers, buyers and local governments.