If emergency humanitarian aid is indispensable for the survival of the immediate victims of a crisis situation, it is not a long-term solution. Only food security allows for a sustainable end to a crisis by guaranteeing the self-sufficiency of the affected populations. In all areas of intervention, ACTED strives to implicate the victims of a crisis in the management of the aid provided to them.
Working Towards a Sustainable End to a Crisis: The Food Security Imperative
If emergency humanitarian aid is indispensable for the survival of the immediate victims of a crisis situation, it is not a long-term solution. Only food security allows for a sustainable end to a crisis by guaranteeing the self-sufficiency of the affected populations.
In all areas of intervention, ACTED strives to implicate the victims of a crisis in the management of the aid provided to them.
A community mobilization effort is systematically put in place in order to define together the priority needs and the means to provide for them. Associating the rescued populations with the solutions that they helped to define constitutes an essential principle of our interventions as it is a key element for guaranteeing the sustainable resumption of their daily lives.
Agricultural support in rural areas
ACTED frequently intervenes in isolated rural areas where agriculture represents the key economic sector. In this context, agricultural support offers a perspective of real development when the activities are of long duration. For this reason, ACTED has developed a panel of activities destined to allow for an effective transition towards autonomous development.
First of all, our activities include the distribution of seeds and tools (fertilizers, pesticides, but also basic tools such as wheelbarrows and shovels), generally accompanied by training sessions and demonstrations on land parcels in order to allow the beneficiaries to successfully take advantage of all aspects of the intervention. Thanks to the community involvement, these activities have evolved with the implementation of a collective management system (agricultural unions or banks) that provide access to better quality inputs at lower prices thanks to grouped transport and orders. This evolution has also allowed for the implementation of reforestation activities destined to improve the management of natural resources.
Since these agricultural support activities are based on the longer term, they are closely linked with the beneficiary populations in order to allow them to become actors of their own development process.
In most cases, agricultural support activities are inseparable from large-scale rehabilitation or construction activities, such as irrigation systems.
After a crisis or natural disaster, irrigation systems can suffer from a lack of maintenance even when their operation is crucial for agricultural activities. The salinity of the soil, the rise of subterranean waters, flooded fields, soil erosion, landslides and mudslides are the main environmental consequences of a lack of maintenance. They also constitute threats to food security to which we attempt to respond by implicating the affected communities in the definition and implementation of the response.
The rehabilitation or the construction of irrigation systems complements our agricultural support activities by guaranteeing food security, which is a first step towards autonomous and sustainable development.
ACTED encourages the setting-up of remuneration mechanisms for certain activities of general interest, such as the cleaning of villages, the maintenance of water springs, the construction and clearing of roads, etc. Beyond the concrete results of these activities, the aim is to guarantee a daily income for the people concerned and to re-inject liquid assets into the local economy.
These activities are geared towards the vulnerable layers of the populations, especially women (sewing, production of small objects to be sold at local markets) and non-qualified individuals (distribution of toolkits, basic training, etc.) in order to encourage regular income generation for the households in question.
ACTED implements these integrated activities aiming to alleviate the most urgent needs while at the same time setting up the foundation for the progressive improvement of the living conditions of these populations.