The approach of the German Red Cross (GRC) mainly aims to comprehensively secure the livelihoods of vulnerable households and communities. This is defined as the adequate and sustainable access of households to income and resources to meet their basic needs. By implication this means that a livelihood is secured if a household has secure ownership of, or access to, resources and income generating activities, including reserves and assets, to cover its basic needs, to offset risks, to withstand shocks and to meet unexpected emergencies.
In this context, the GRC supports vulnerable groups in urban as well as rural areas and accounts for the different dimensions of livelihoods through a multi-sectoral approach to sustainably strengthen the local self-help capabilities.
Short and long term support
In this context, the GRC helps in emergency situations as well as ongoing crises to meet short and medium term needs and to give developmental and structural aid to improve the complex and structural components of living conditions.
Short term measures, for example, are "cash for work" programmes where the affected population helps to build houses or infrastructures and where people receive cash for their work. In the transition period, they can use this money to cater for themselves and for their families.
Medium and long term measures to secure livelihoods can aim at, for example, supporting income generation activities in craft or in trade. Activities can involve the building of infrastructures, can support the protection of and the access to natural resources or can strengthen social networks.
Because of the importance of the agricultural sector, supporting agricultural production is one of the core areas of GRC’s work – with a special focus on smallholder farming in rural areas.
Taking innovative approaches as well as social and environmental aspects into account, the GRC supports increases in production and diversification as well as processing and marketing, amongst others.