Food Assistance for Assets: helping build resilience for lasting change

Farmers from Bangladesh, Kenya, and Somalia tell us how asset creation activities have contributed to building their resilience

Adrienne Uselman
Dec 27, 2018 · 5 min read
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FFA programme participants in Kenya. Photo: WFP / Rein Skullerud


“It used to take us the whole day to water tomatoes alone, but now we just fill up the tank, and off we go to other domestic duties. This technology has saved us a lot in terms of labour.”

Kilifi County in Kenya struggles with erratic rainfall, prolonged dry spells, and constant droughts. Designed in collaboration with a number of partners including the Kilifi County Government and World Vision Kenya, local asset creation programmes have as their primary objective the tackling of persistent water scarcity.


“This year, I have cultivated a rain-fed paddy on a share-crop basis. I am expecting a good harvest and also planning to cultivate watermelon in next dry season.”

In recent years, the Sakthira district of southwestern Bangladesh has been deeply affected by waterlogging and flooding. These problems affect the lives of approximately 800,000 people and the consequences have been severe: crop cultivation has become almost impossible, leading many people to migrate to other areas. In 2015, a joint FAO, UNDP, and WFP FFA programme was initiated to rehabilitate local drainage canals. This programme has reduced the recurrence of waterlogging and flooding and improved the productivity of local farms. With their short-term food needs met by cash transfers through mobile banking systems provided by FFA, the individuals participating in this project were able to dedicate their time to rebuilding the assets needed to ensure long-term livelihoods activities such as crop cultivation.

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FFA programme participants in Bangladesh planning for the rehabilitation of local drainage canals. Photo: WFP/Siddiqul Islam Khan


“Our future could not be brighter. We are well-armed to face droughts!”

With recurrent droughts, flooding, and land degradation, as well as decades-long conflicts and a lack of governance, Somalia is among the poorest and most food-insecure countries in the world. Beginning in 2013, WFP and its partner Action in Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) have introduced an FFA programme that allows programme participants to access food from local markets using vouchers while building productive assets such as shallow wells and shallow water tanks.

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FFA participant Ismail and his wife show us their farm in Bassao, Somalia. Photo: WFP / Yusuf Artan
WFP Executive Director David Beasley visits FFA sites in the Sahel.

Learn more about WFP’s FFA programmes.

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