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Concern Worldwide has been supporting the livelihoods of the poorest people in developing countries for over 30 years. We want people to be able to earn a living in a sustainable way, so they can feed their families. A large part of this work is ensuring that people have access to safe and nutritious food.

Put simply, “livelihoods” doesn’t just mean a person’s ability to earn a living, it’s about everything that has an impact on a person’s life. Our livelihoods programmes target the poorest people. They have two core elements: providing food so people can survive and thrive and enabling people to support themselves in the long-term. Last year, our livelihoods programmes directly reached over 1.5 million people.

Promoting self-sufficiency

We focus on ensuring that communities have better access to food. This means providing the tools, seeds, knowledge and training to enable people to become more self-sufficient. Another important part of our work is ensuring that goods can be sold at a fair price. We do this by improving access to markets for the farmers we work with.

Empowering lives

We empower people by training them to grow their own food or build alternative livelihoods. We work with communities to reduce their vulnerability to droughts and flooding, improve their access to water and generate more income so they can support their families.  In poor rural areas, we invest in sustainable farming methods such as crop rotation and livestock management to improve yields without depleting natural resources. 

Watch our video on conservation farming in Zimbabwe where we work with farmers to improve their livelihoods:

Investing in women

Hunger is a problem that affects everything for the world’s poorest people. We focus on regions where the needs are greatest. Women are of particular concern to us because they work two-thirds of the world's working hours, produce half of the world's food, but earn only 10% of the world's income. They are also the primary carers of children. By helping women future generations can go on to live healthier and more prosperous lives.

Development work

Within development contexts, our work concentrates on ensuring that communities have better access to food. This means providing the tools, seeds, knowledge, and training to enable people to become more self-sufficient through more productive agriculture, vegetable gardens, and livestock rearing. We also aim to improve people’s means of income by providing access to savings and credit programmes, small business loans, and helping people gain skills to run small businesses.


In emergency contexts, our livelihoods security programmes focus on rebuilding communities, their resources and infrastructure, and distributing food and shelter to meet basic survival needs. We also protect and restore people’s means of earning an income.

In depth