"We are thrilled to expand our economic empowerment program in Liberia," states George Guimaraes, CEO of PCI. "We know the participating women will be able to make a lasting positive impact for their families and communities."
MONROVIA, LIBERIA (PRWEB) February 21, 2013
PCI (Project Concern International) has been awarded a Program Improvement Award of $100,000 by the Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) program. TOPS is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace (FFP). The award is to enhance health and nutrition behavior and the overall effectiveness and sustainability of food security programs in Liberia. To contribute to best practices in development food assistance programs, PCI will test a framework for integrating the Care Group maternal and child health and nutrition model with its methodology for social and economic development.
At the end of its 14-year civil war, Liberia was left with faltering economy, destroyed infrastructure, and an impoverished and food-insecure population that had suffered devastating losses, displacement and trauma. Today, Liberia is making the transition from relief aid to market-driven development that will secure a more prosperous future for its citizens. Food insecurity, however, is still prevalent with high rates of stunting and malnutrition among children.
In June 2010, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace awarded ACDI/VOCA and PCI a five-year, $40 million Title II Multi-Year Assistance Program for Liberia. PCI’s program is increasing access to food, reducing chronic malnutrition, and increasing access to improved livelihood and educational opportunities in Liberia’s Bong and Nimba counties. Secondary focus areas include gender and disaster risk reduction.
To contribute to the strategic objective of identifying, sharing, and promoting the adoption of best practices in Title II programs, PCI will test a framework for integrating the Care Group maternal and child health and nutrition model with its methodology for social and economic development. The key objective of this program is to understand implications of combining the two models in order to expand the program and improve the quality and impact of future food and nutrition security programs.
PCI’s economic and social empowerment model forms small groups to save and invest their own capital. PCI provides training to savings group participants in small business management, literacy, numeracy, entrepreneurship, financial budgeting and leadership skills. This training, coupled with savings group activities, provides a platform for sustainable businesses, economic development and social empowerment. As a result of participating in savings groups, members:
- Discuss social challenges and address them as a group;
- Learn entrepreneurship skills and small business development;
- Contribute to household income;
- Provide a financial safety net for their families;
- Increase family nutrition; and
- Reduce reliance on public assistance and related social services.
Support for this project was provided by an award from the Small Grants Program of the Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program, made possible by the generous support and contribution of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace (FFP). The contents of the materials produced through the TOPS Small Grants awards do not necessarily reflect the views of TOPS, USAID, or the United States Government. TOPS is funded by USAID/FFP to strengthen skills in implementing organizations and promote excellence in food security and nutrition programming for vulnerable households in FFP Title II countries.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011, PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 16 countries worldwide. PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefitting over 6.7 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI's current annual budget is nearly $50 million and the organization has 600 employees worldwide. PCI's headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative.