CARE has actually proved that we can end poverty. Learn how.

CARE has actually proved that we can end poverty. Learn how.


By Emily Janoch

 “We have proved that we can make merely impossible things possible together. We know what poverty is, but we have forgotten to be defeated by poverty."

- Marjina Begum, Baghmara community

That my favorite CARE quote, so I’m happy to use it again. It’s our primary goal, to end poverty, and sometimes it feels impossible.  There have always been poor people in the world, and it’s pretty bold to suggest that we can figure out how to end it.  But looking across more than 200 evaluations, we can actually prove that CARE can end poverty. In fact, we’re already doing it.  This is an overview of 10 projects that show CARE is not just helping families improve incomes, but truly helping them leave poverty.

What have we accomplished?

Typhoon Haiyan Reconstruction Project showed that 23% of families in the communities where we work now have income levels above the poverty line—up from 0 when the project started.

IFONS in Mali showed that women living above the poverty line of $1.25 per day went from 0 percent of participants to 19% by 2016.

Banking on Change in Uganda cut poverty in half: The number of program participants living below the poverty line went from 14% to 7%.

Families in Ethiopia’s LINKAGES program were able to increase income by 80% a year. 66% of families in the program were able to graduate off food assistance.

95% of families in the Social and Economic Transformation for the Ultra Poor project were able to graduate out of the ultra-poor category, relative to 1% at baseline.

In Ethiopia’s GRAD program 70% of targeted households were involved in Value Chain Activities and 86% of participants aspire to graduate. For families like Admasu Mulu, incomes went up by nearly $1,000 per year, nearly three times the target of $365 per year.


How did we get there?

Build assets: People Rwanda’s Job Creation project in the program invested nearly 5 times more money in asset creation in the last 12 months, and were more than twice as likely as the comparison group to invest in assets at all.

Diversify incomes: the WE-RISE project saw Ethiopia triple the number of families with access to diverse income sources, and Malawi saw a 43% increase in the number of families with non-agricultural income.

Make it easier to get resources: the seed bank model that Tatweer in West Bank Gaza uses gets higher quality seeds to farmers for 20% less than the costs they face trying to get seeds from other businesses.  Added to services like renting tractors and selling fertilizer, this means that every $1 invested in the seed bank turns into $4 of returns for farmers. The seed bank has grown from serving 250 farmers to 2,500.

Increase Yields: Using conservation agriculture and improved varieties, PROSADE in Honduras saw yields on beans go up by 255%, and on corn by 30%.

Support good financial decisions: The participants say it best.  As one man in Banking on Change in Uganda told us: “I earn more money and support my family better than before. I no longer waste money. I buy household assets. I now have household assets that I never dreamt of having.”


Want to Learn More?

Check out the links for each project to see the evaluation, or check out CARE’s World of Impact to see more.

[i] The usual caveats apply.  These figures apply to project participants, not to entire countries or regions.

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