In early 2022, the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) started to emerge from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, boasting rising industrial production, exports to the European Union (EU), increases in wages, and credit growth. The region is ripe for investment, but Russia’s war against Ukraine threatens this recovery, through higher energy and food costs, disruption in supply chains, and interruptions in trade.
In the way that cooperatives form when people with common interests come together, apex organizations form when several of those cooperatives organize to achieve common goals. Farming cooperatives have the unique advantage of being engrained in the local context and knowledgeable about their sector. Their value is providing farmers with advantages that make them more profitable than they would be outside of the group. Apex organizations take that farmer support a step further by strengthening the cooperative groups on a larger scale.
In early 2020, the Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice and Diversified Crops Activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, began an assessment to understand how the Activity could increase financial access for agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises (agri-SMEs) in Bangladesh during COVID-19. The assessment originally focused on opportunities for the Activity to increase financial access through agent banks during the pandemic.
When Hurricane Dorian struck The Bahamas in 2019, USAID led and coordinated the U.S. Government’s disaster response efforts, deploying an elite disaster team and providing nearly $34 million in humanitarian assistance.
Over 67 million youth are unemployed globally and the majority live in rural areas with limited economic opportunities. The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmingly impacted youth whose employment fell by more than twice that of adults in 2020.
This post was originally published on Helvetas' website and written by Chalachew Gebeyehu, SKY Project Manager, Helvetas; Bettina Jenny, Head of Skills Development & Education, Helvetas; and Sabrina Würmli, Advisor for Skills Development, Helvetas.
Worldwide, the private sector is playing an unprecedented role in shaping opportunities that improve the lives in the countries and communities that USAID supports. For six decades, USAID has partnered with the private sector to solve the world’s most complex development challenges and to help countries accelerate development progress.
As COVID-19 circumvented the globe impacting every nation, sector, business, and family, it brought numerous challenges in its wake. In developing countries – where market systems are often fragmented, connections between market actors weak, and businesses’ reserves limited – perishable products like vegetables were particularly hard hit. Both the supply and demand were affected by the shock. As the crisis deepened, some market actors lost considerable revenue and some went out of business.
Banks in Bangladesh are exploring agent banking and digital services as ways of coping with COVID-19 restrictions, expanding financial inclusion to those in need, and preventing the gap in microfinancing from widening further.
Youth — who make up a large portion of the potential workforce in developing countries — are often left out of markets systems, representing a significant lost opportunity to deliver social and economic benefits.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures national governments around the world are taking to contain it have created new challenges for families who were already vulnerable to a number of climate-related disaster risks. New research supported by USAID is learning whether investments in broadly based resilience helps families to withstand even this completely unexpected and global shock.
Field research from from around the world is finding that resilience to climate-related shocks can encourage rural families to invest more for higher productivity, creating new opportunities for greater prosperity.
Feed the Future conducted a rapid market assessment of its roughly 150 partner agri-businesses and farmers to better understand the impact of the current crisis and the future outlook for the agriculture sector.
Since the market for “bottom of the pyramid” consumers was identified nearly 20 years ago, product marketing, sales, and distribution have evolved with the help of technology. Here's how two businesses use mobile and cloud-based tools to reach emerging market customers.