Ethiopia + 7 more

The Poverty Alleviation Coalition in the East, Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region: Briefing Note – September 2021


Responding to the High Commissioner’s decision to step-up livelihoods interventions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Persons of Concern’s (POC) access to livelihoods, UNHCR is supporting NGOs through the “Poverty Alleviation Coalition (PAC)” in scaling up a proven and tested tool to address extreme poverty, called “the Graduation Approach”. The approach combines social safety nets and self-reliance initiatives in one sequenced programme.

With evidence developed by Nobel laureates Duflo and Banerjee and BRAC, UNHCR has piloted and adapted the approach to refugee settings since 2013. The Graduation Approach can become a vital tool to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 as it addresses the multidimensional needs of extremely poor households, while investing in the breadwinner’s skills and asset base, and simultaneously promoting financial and social inclusion.

Responding at scale: To apply the Graduation Approach at scale, UNHCR and the World Bank’s Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) were joined in 2019, by 13 leading INGOs, who applied graduation programming. Together we formed the Poverty Alleviation Coalition (PAC).

The PAC members have set themselves the ambitious goal of targeting 500,000 refugee and host community households globally within the next five years.

UNHCR is assisting NGOs at the regional and country level by:

• Developing holistic and evidence-based concept notes.

• Assisting coalition partners in raising adequate multiyear funding, visibility and information sharing.

• Creating synergies with activities of UNHCR, International Organizations (IOs), governments, local NGOs, Financial Service Providers (FSPs), and other development actors.

In the East, Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes (EHAGL) region 48,000 h