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In focus

Our goals for economic wellbeing

Updated 

The International Rescue Committee provides direct assistance for people as they try to feed their families and find a safe place to live, and we work to improve livelihoods opportunities for long-term economic wellbeing.

Women in South Kivu at a village savings group

Women in South Kivu at a village savings group where they save money in the form of buying shares.

Photo: Sinziana Demian/IRC

Learn more about our goals for economic wellbeing and how we are working to meet them:

Ensure that people in crisis areas have what they need to survive—including food, water, shelter and basic household items—without falling into debt or resorting to desperate measures

How we get there:

  • Providing cash assistance—through debit card accounts with no strings attached, where appropriate—so that people can buy what they need themselves, which benefits the local economy; 
  • Supporting local markets to ensure that basic necessities are available at affordable prices and in sufficient quantities to meet people’s needs;
  • Providing emergency supplies when these essential goods aren’t readily available.

Ensure that people resettled in the United States have what they need to rebuild their lives and grow their assets

How we get there:

  • Assisting people to identify realistic, achievable career paths that have the potential to offer a living wage;
  • Ensuring people have information about the job market and requirements for their specific fields;
  • Ensuring people have and can maintain good credit, and that they have an understanding of more advanced concepts of financial management.

When the Tashtanov brothers fled their home in Uzbekistan and arrived to the United States, the IRC helped them learn English, find accommodation, secure a job and adjust to the American culture. Once on their feet, they opened up an auto repair shop called Five Brothers Automotive in Georgia.

Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/UNHCR

Ensure that people can become self-sufficient by engaging in safe and decent work and by managing and saving their resources

How we get there:

  • Providing business-skills training for in-demand jobs and strengthening connections in local labor markets so that prospective employers can more easily find employees with the skills they need;
  • Encouraging new entrepreneurs and helping local businesses to grow through mentorship, financial management training, technical support and access to grants and loans;
  • Addressing barriers to employment for people resettled in the United States, including English-language and computer skills, childcare and access to transportation.

Ensure that women have the decision-making power to safely use and control resources

How we get there:

  • Providing women with equitable access to information, skills training, business support and markets so that they can meet their basic needs and generate income and assets;
  • Addressing social norms that underpin and maintain gender inequalities and cause increased risks of violence to economically empowered women;
  • Working with governments, businesses and local nonprofit organizations to encourage and actively promote women’s safe economic empowerment.

Explore our work on economic wellbeing.

Outcomes and evidence

The IRC's Outcomes and Evidence Framework supports people working in development and humanitarian aid to design effective programs. It delivers key information on outcomes related to health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power through theories of change that demonstrate how to achieve these outcomes, evidence for which interventions work or don’t work to achieve the outcomes, and guidance on how to measure progress against the outcomes.