We usually assume that giving out food stamps is "giving a man a fish".  But what impact do you think it has on the market? 
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For a cash transfer of $25 a month that goes to the poorest people, Haiti has learned you can transform a market.  To use an overworked metaphor, we don’t just give a family a fish—we’re literally putting more fish in the sea (and jobs in the market). 96% of businesses in the program are seeing higher profits, 43% of farmers are increasing their productivity, and 61% of farmers have hired more labor—creating jobs the Haitian economy desperately needs.

As part of the USAID-Food For Peace Kore Lavi project, CARE is working in partnership with WFP, ACF, World Vision, and the Haitian Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. A recent market analysis showed remarkable changes.

What have we accomplished?
  • More profitable businesses: 96% of fresh food vendors saw their profits increased, and 32% said that they doubled or higher. Staple food vendors saw a 4-5 times improvement in working capital (up to $4,500).
  • Better, more diverse food: 92% of vendors have increased the quantity of stock they keep, and 76% purchase food more often from local and regional markets. 44% of vendors are stocking more diverse commodities than before.
  • More businesses, more producers: 56% of vendors see that they have seen new sellers enter the market to sell more diverse, local commodities. 55% of farmers say that they’ve seen more people investing in farming, or in new crops so they can source to Kore Lavi vendors.
  • More jobs: 43% of fresh food vendors and 61% of food producers have hired additional labor to help with their businesses—creating needed jobs in the community.
  • Healthier families: 72% of fresh food vendors use their extra resources to feed their families, and 24% are using the profits to send their kids to school.
  • More, better production: 43% of food producers said they have increased their production to respond to market demand.  57% have diversified their crops to cover items in the food basket. 66% of farmers say that it’s easier to sell their produce than it was before the program.
How did we get there?
  • Increase demand: Kore Lavi provides families vouchers of $25 a month to the most vulnerable households in Haiti so they can meet 20% of their monthly food needs.  They take these vouchers to local vendors, who then sell local products.
  • Promoting local products: The vouchers can only be used for local foods, so this promotes production.  58% of staple vendors and 96% of fresh food vendors buy in their local markets.  50% of staple food vendors sometimes buy in regional markets when products are less accessible.
  • Using VSLAs to access credit: 38% of fresh food vendors and 50% of staple vendors are using credit from VSLAs to expand their business.
Want to learn more?
Check out the market analysis here.  Or look at the project webpage
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