Supporting recovery necessitates an understanding of the market structures shaping the context of interventions and their ability to support or withstand activities. In the case of manual labor, the labor market involves the supply and demand for manual labor and the dynamics of cash and in-kind pay structures. While information exists on formal and urban-based labor markets, much less is known of rural labor markets. WFP therefore commissioned a study on rural livelihoods and labor markets to help guide the implementation of WFP Global Strategic Priority 2: Protect livelihoods in crisis situations and enhance resilience to shocks. Because of the importance of addressing the realities confronting vulnerable households, the study specifically targets areas with high proportions of vulnerable households. It will closely complement a market profiling study, focusing on trade in food commodity markets, and a study on improving cash crop production to raise rural household incomes. Together these studies will inform decision-making on the complementary roles of food, non-food and cash-based interventions.
It is important to note the limitations of this study, which inevitably touches on a host of complex issues tied into those of livelihoods and employment. The ultimate goal is to inform programming that can enable households to cope with present and future shocks, not address the structural poverty and unemployment issues, which are numerous.