USAID/OFDA Economic Recovery and Market Systems – October 2012
Natural disasters and complex emergencies adversely affect local economies by destroying houses, damaging productive assets, and disrupting transportation and market infrastructure. To help communities resume economic activity and rebuild livelihoods following a disaster, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) supports economic recovery and market systems (ERMS). In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, USAID/OFDA provided more than $64.5 million to support ERMS activities in 21 countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as worldwide and regional ERMS interventions.
A functional economy is critical for communities to sustainably recover from a disaster; businesses need to re-open, families need to re-establish livelihoods, and banks need to provide financial services. The third pillar of USAID/OFDA’s mandate is “to reduce the economic impact of disasters.” ERMS interventions strengthen key market systems and help populations restore livelihoods and purchasing power at the household, local, and regional levels. USAID/OFDA-supported ERMS programs complement people’s own efforts to recover from a disaster and prevent reliance on continued humanitarian aid.