Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 June 2010

USADF Signs Two Grants to Support People Living on Less Than Dollar a Day in Benin




USADF Signs Two Grants to Support People Living on Less Than Dollar a Day in Benin



COTONOU, Benin, June 24, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) signed two grants to support marginalized community groups in Benin.  The grants will benefit  Cercle de Recherche et d’Appui pour un Développement Durable (CRADD) and Groupement villageois d’éleveurs de lapin Houénoussou (Houénoussou). 


Speaking about the grants, USADF Chairman Jack Leslie stated “USADF is dedicated to supporting those at the bottom billion.  For the vast majority of people living in the Zou-Colline Department, income generating activities do not exist, making it impossible for people to support their families.  These projects will fund projects geared to raising incomes and supporting a higher quality of life for people in this region.”


CRADD supports local groups by helping to process and market local agricultural products in Saclo Arrondissement of the Zou Department, a region marked by food insecurity and one of the highest poverty levels in Benin.   The group has recently identified 58 low-income women who produce afitin, a local condiment made from fermented African locust beans which is popular among consumers in Benin.  Currently, the women who produce afitin earn little due to the lengthy time and costs requirements during production.  The two year grant will help the women to increase the profitability of afitin production by reducing the costs of raw material, fuel, and labor.  Specifically USADF funds will be used to construct a locust bean storage warehouse, purchase equipment, establish working capital, and procure training in locust bean and afitin conservation, processing techniques, and literacy.

Houénoussou is an organization of rabbit producers in Ouèssè Commune, an isolated village and one of the four poorest municipalities in the Zou-Colline Department.  More than 90% of the households in the region have a daily income of less than one dollar a day.  The organization is supported by twelve artisans including blacksmiths, mechanics, and tailors, who currently earn less than US$ 365 per year because their services are rarely used by community members due to low purchasing power.  Further, poor farming conditions and increased hunting regulations have severely limited people’s ability to produce food.  As a result, the members of Houénoussou have identified rabbit breeding to generate incomes.  The three year grant will fund improvements to members’ production facilities with the construction of production sheds, a well, a warehouse, and a small slaughterhouse, as well as training and marketing exercises.


USADF began programming in Benin in 1986.   Benin’s current portfolio stands at ninteen investment projects totaling more than $2.5 million.  For more information about the portfolio, please visit the country’s quick source page at .


The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is a United States Government agency dedicated to expanding access to economic opportunities to the most marginalized populations in Africa. Currently USADF operates in 20 African countries. Over the past 25 years, USADF has funded in excess of $200 million in African initiated and led development projects. 



The United States African Development Foundation (USADF)


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