The fight against poverty

Action on Poverty’s Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Livelihoods (EESL) program focuses on creating opportunities for vulnerable people to increase their incomes and lift themselves out of poverty.

This program emphasises women’s economic empowerment, targeting women from marginalised groups such as ethnic minorities, women in rural areas, and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. We work with individuals and collectives to develop vocational skills, increase financial literacy, and develop small enterprises.

Our EESL projects also create support networks to reduce isolation and vulnerability within the community. This can start small, by forming local savings-and-loans groups and farmers’ associations, before growing into market-oriented linkages with business networks. By establishing profitable value chains in agricultural commodities, such as fish, potato, and ground nuts, farmers can create more income and employment opportunities for the whole community.

The EESL program offers:

  • technical support
  • financial literacy training
  • specific vocational training opportunities
  • agri-business development
  • increased access to information
  • access to financial services
  • market access and value chain development.

Alignment with SDGs

This program aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

SDG1 No Poverty   SDG5 Gender Equality   SDG 8 Decent work and Economic Growth

The fight against poverty in Africa

In Africa, we work with individual farmers and cooperatives to develop farmers’ technical skills, increase climate resilience, and support local seed industries. The EESL program also links farmers with markets, increases access to market information, and teachers farmers how to apply business principles to their livelihood activities.

Fighting poverty with potatoes

The fight against poverty in Asia

We work with communities in Vietnam and Cambodia on livelihood initiatives, targeting women for small business training, especially in the tourism sector. Our micro-finance program also serves marginalised groups who are deemed high-risk by the banks, providing low-interest loans to support the development of new businesses.

In Cambodia, we work with women who have survived, or are at high risk of, gender-based violence and human trafficking. Women develop financial literacy and establish small businesses to support themselves and their families.

Backing women’s entrepreneurship in Cambodia

The fight against poverty in the Pacific

In the Pacific, our EESL program focuses on supporting micro-enterprises that meet communities’ self-identified needs, such as fuel depots or chicken farming. In Timor-Leste, we target women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence and human trafficking, as well as people experiencing psycho-social issues, for small business support.

Overcoming gender-based violence and poverty

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