Why livelihoods? Secure livelihoods offer the extreme poor a pathway to forge their way out of poverty. According to the most recent figures, 736 million people in the world live on less than $1.90 a day. That equates to approximately 10% of the world’s population living below the global poverty line.

We implement our livelihoods programmes in some of the poorest and most vulnerable places in the world. Extremely poor people in developing countries face many risks, a number of which are associated with climate change. An increase in the incidence and severity of climate-related disasters are negatively impacting on crop yields and the availability of food for subsistence farmers. At the same time, people are increasingly migrating to crowded urban areas in search of more secure livelihoods and are facing increased competition for income-earning opportunities.

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Married father-of-two Daniel Nsabiyaremye (28) started up a bike repair and carpentry business upon completing Concern's graduation programme in Burundi. Photo: Chris de Bode/Panos Pictures for Concern Worldwide.
Daniel was a participant in Concern's graduation programme. Photo: Chris de Bode / Concern Worldwide.
Moni selling vegetables at Karwan Bazar market in Bangladesh. The business was started after receiving a grant from Concern. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures for Concern Worldwide
Moni started her business after receiving a grant from Concern. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Concern Worldwide.
Widow Isabelle Mundana (66) earns a living from selling white aubergines at market which she cultivates on her plot of land and kitchen garden, along with caja peas, Chinese cabbage, amaranth, onion and spinach. She has benefitted from nutrition and hygiene training and a series of money transfers as part of Concern’s community and household resilience programme to improve living conditions and livelihoods for the most vulnerable. Photo: Darren Vaughan/Concern Worldwide.
Isabelle has received training and cash transfers. Photo: Darren Vaughan / Concern Worldwide.
In Medina Market, Somalia, Hodan*, a member of the Self-Help Group (SHG) supported by CONCERN, is seen in her shop. She sells mattress, pillows chairs, flowers, mosquito nets. Photo: Marco Gualazzini/ Concern Worldwide.
Hodan* stands inside the shop that she owns. Photo: Marco Gualazzini / Concern Worldwide.
Mika Abdu proudly displays some of his short-season millet crop, grown from seeds supplied by Concern in Niger. Photographer: Darren Vaughan/ Concern Worldwide.
Mika Abdu grew his with seeds supplied by Concern. Photo: Darren Vaughan / Concern Worldwide.

A closer look at our livelihood programmes

We aim to contribute to lasting improvements in the income and food security of extremely poor people through the implementation of high-quality, multi-dimensional programmes. Here we spotlight two of our approaches.


Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)


Climate change is now an accepted reality – the earth’s climate is warming. More frequent and longer-lasting periods of extreme temperatures are now a reality, as are more frequent and less predictable flood events and dry-spells.

The communities that we work with are on the front line of these climate effects. Whether it be the Sahelian zones of Chad and Niger, or the flood plains of Bangladesh, most rely heavily on farming, fishing and livestock-rearing for their livelihood and find themselves in an increasingly precarious position. For example, many of the farmers we work with must now plant their seeds two or three times in a year because rains fail during the early stages of crop growth and final yields are harshly compromised.

We're supporting communities to adopt Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices which adapt their farming systems to become more resilient to a less predictable climate. The practices we are promoting include the diversification of crop varieties, increasing access to improved farming skills and technologies, and strengthening links with the private sector to facilitate access to agricultural inputs from seeds, to new equipment such as solar water pumps.

We are committed to rolling-out CSA to 600,000 farmers as part of our Strategic Plan (2016–2020) and as an active member of the African Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance (ACSAA), we're supporting the African Union to roll out CSA to six million farmers in Africa by 2021. 


Graduation programme


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