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Economic security

Economic security



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The ICRC's work to promote economic security is intended to ensure that households and communities can cover their unavoidable expenditures and maintain or restore sustainable livelihoods.

ICRC, Geneva, 2008, 8 pp., graph., tabl., 15 x 21 cm, English, French / Free of charge / ref. 0954

The ICRC's work to promote economic security is intended to ensure that households and communities can cover their unavoidable expenditures and maintain or restore sustainable livelihoods.

ICRC, Geneva, 2008, 8 pp., graph., tabl., 15 x 21 cm, English, French / Free of charge / ref. 0954


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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: International Committee of the Red Cross on Nov 04, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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The ICRC defnes economic securityas the condition o an individual,household or community that isable to cover its essential needsand unavoidable expendituresin a sustainable manner, accordingto its cultural standards.Needs include ood, shelter,access to health care, education,and taxes, among others.Food alone is not sufcient.
    A   n   a    G   e   r    l    i   n    H   e   r   n   a   n    d   e   z    B   o   n    i    l    l   a    /    I    C    R    C
Because public health is viewed globally,Economic Security programmes are closelyconnected to eorts in complementary elds:Health programmes (hospital management,rst aid) and Water and Habitat programmes(access to water and proper sanitation). Allthese activities depend on reliable and e-cient logistical support.In all cases, because o the ICRC’s overarchingmandate o protecting the victims o armedconfict, economic security operations combineas much as possible with protection eorts.
Relie aid
Relie aid is primarily intended to save lives andprotect livelihoods when they are at immedi-ate risk in pre-crisis or acute crisis situations. This is done by giving people access to goodsessential or their survival (such as householditems, ood, seed and tools) when they can nolonger obtain them on their own. Aid o thiskind should be combined with dialogue withparties that are in a position to enhance theprotection o the people concerned.
Livelihood supportProduction aid
is intended to spur ood pro-
duction and/or generate income, and ultim-
ately to restore sustainable livelihoods in
pre-crisis, chronic crisis and post-crisis environ-
ments. This means preserving household or
community productive assets.Production aid takes the orm o the vaccina-tion, culling and restocking o livestock herds,
the distribution of agricultural implements,
seed and ishing tackle, micro-economic initia-tives and capacity-building eorts.
Degree o Crisis
 The ICRC has deined our degrees o crisisregarding the coverage o essential needs,(see above). The Economic Security Unit as-sesses needs at household level in order toobtain irst-hand local inormation.
Crisis Security Responses
Responses vary with the degree of crisis.
In pre-crisis and acute crisis situations,
the response meets essential needs. The aim is to save lives.In chronic crisis and post-crisis situations,
the response promotes economicconsolidation and/or reconstruction. The aim is to support livelihoods.
Different modes of action may be combined :
substitution : the direct provision o services
in lieu
o service providers that have ailedto cover essential needs) ;support to local service providers ;
persuasion o relevant authorities to
shoulder their responsibilities ;mobilization o third parties to act, or to
persuade relevant authorities to do so.
Crisis Process
 The ollowing diagram helps to explain ICRCactivities that promote economic security.Relie aid aims to save lives or halt economicdecline (illustrated by the descending curve).Livelihood support aims to restore economicsecurity, in particular when recovery is underway (illustrated by the climbing curve). Live-lihood support consists o production aidand structural aid (see below).
    V    i   r   g    i   n    i   e    L   o   u    i   s    /    I    C    R    C
Essential needsare stil covered,but at risk of no longerbeing addressed.
Some essentialneeds are no longercovered.
Essential needs areinsufficiently covered,and acute crisiscould resume.
Essential needs arecovered by structurewhose sustainabilityremains fragile.ESSENTIAL NEEDS COVERED
    D   o   m    i   n    i   c    S   a   n   s   o   n    i    /    I    C    R    C
Structural aid, 
urnished mainly in chroniccrisis and post-crisis settings, is intended torevive the output o sustainable productiveassets (such as crops) by encouraging serviceproviders and other parties concerned to pro-vide the required input, such as seed andtools. It may also be used to promote improve-ments in such areas as agricultural extensionservices and State-delivered social welareprogrammes.
Many, i not most, o the communities the ICRCis working to help ace a daily struggle to meettheir essential needs, especially or ood. Anadequate understanding o the circumstancessurrounding this struggle is thereore o para-mount importance.In conned environments such as prisons andhospitals, this analysis provides the basis orthe response to inmate and patient health.Responses include eeding programmes andsupport to ood handling and processing. Theyshould complement other programmes thataim at restoring economic independence.
    B   o   r    i   s    H   e   g   e   r    /    I    C    R    C
Support or ood production is part o theICRC’s eorts to boost economic security.Because its response to observed needs iscomprehensive, it gains insight not only intothe consequences but also into the causes o armed confict and tension.
Micro-economic initiatives aim to strengthenincome generation in households and entirecommunities in a sustainable manner and ina set time rame. The projects are tailored to meet individualneeds, as expressed by the recipients. The most commonly
used micro-economictools are productive grants, vocational train-ing and small loans.
    C   a   r    l   o   s    R    i   o   s    /    I    C    R    C    L   e    i   g    h    D   a   y   n   e   s    /    C    R    R   o   y   a   u   m   e  -    U   n    i
TRAININGCourses or training sta andkey partners (such as NationalSociety sta) accompanieseconomic security programmesworldwide, and is deliveredby qualifed national sta andexpatriate teams.Production aid can be deliveredby means o grants or services.Other stakeholders should beencouraged to take action and/orpersuade the authorities to do so.Nutritionists take part in ICRCsurveys o needs and helpassess living conditions andgauge coping mechanisms.Livestock issues and plant produc-tion are central to this type o intervention. Agricultural supportis in act pivotal to most ICRCEcoSec activities in rural settings,especially in Arica but not only.
    O    l    i   v    i   e   r    M   o   e   c    k    l    i    /    I    C    R    C

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