Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Fostering Livelihoods in Times of Crisis: Lessons From Syria

Nov 28, 2017


The crisis in Syria is the largest humanitarian emergency of our time, with 13.5 million people affected inside Syria and over five million refugees in neighboring countries. Yet even among such challenging circumstances, humanitarian agencies work to support livelihoods alongside saving lives and meeting basic needs. 

Microlinks and USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) conducted a webinar in which Vaidehi Krishnan of Mercy Corps and Kelly Van Husen of Global Communities shared their strategies and lessons learned in understanding markets and supporting livelihoods inside Syria, linking food security and market recovery strategies. They discussed such challenges as addressing market demand in rapidly changing circumstances, keeping staff safe while reaching vulnerable communities, and intervening in suboptimal market conditions. 


Kelly Van Husen
Global Communities

Kelly Van Husen is Global Communities’ Humanitarian Assistance Director.

In this role she develops and implements Global Communities’ overall humanitarian assistance strategy, focusing on Syria and the Middle East. Kelly has over ten years of experience in humanitarian assistance and development and has worked with Global Communities’ Humanitarian Assistance department since 2014. She has also worked as the Deputy Chief of Party for Grants and Contracts for IRD and spent over two years working in Afghanistan for Development Alternatives, Inc. as a Field Director for development and stabilization efforts in the country. She previously worked for Global Communities, then known as CHF International, on emergency and early recovery programming in Indonesia in the wake of the 2006 earthquake on Java island and as a program development assistant for CHF’s emergency and transition programs. Kelly holds an M.S. in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Vaidehi Krishnan
Mercy Corps

Vaidehi Krishnan (Vai), has over 12 years of experience in markets in complex crises in Asia, Africa and th

e Middle East. Most recently, she worked with Mercy Corps in the Middle East supporting cash, markets and livelihoods programs. Vai is also the lead on Mercy Corps’ Syria study (forthcoming) that looks at how people are continuing to maintain or adapt their livelihoods inside Syria.