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Supporting markets in emergencies. Scoping study

May 2017 — By Helene Juillard

A review of recent humanitarian interventions that support local markets in emergency contexts revealed a limited scope and breadth of this type of activity. While many agencies show good creativity and understanding of market systems in emergencies, most activities are in the form of small grants to traders, to help them recover and to facilitate access to markets for disaster-affected communities.

Such support includes small and large, formal and informal traders, but does not often go beyond grants, although sometimes trainings and other “soft support” are provided. The limited scope of market support activities is probably linked to the focused scope of many emergency market analyses or response analysis efforts that may not study all market actors or adequately consider market support activities, due to time constraints or simply humanitarians’ comfort level.

Another likely barrier to scale and quality of market support activities is a lack of clarity across agencies of good practices. More evidence-building is suggested to contribute to the collective understanding of good market support practices