For communities affected by disaster it is a priority to protect, recover and develop resources needed for medium and long-term food security and future livelihoods. In situations of displacement, where communities have lost assets through flight or conflict, their livelihood activities and access to markets are often seriously restricted. In the framework of camps, such livelihood considerations as proximity of markets, potential income generating activities, availability of raw material and space for livestock, must be taken into account from the very outset of the response to displacement.
Providing livelihoods opportunities for displaced populations is a tool for protection. Thus the Camp Management Agency should coordinate with all stakeholders to promote peaceful coexistence between camp populations and host communities while preventing negative coping mechanisms such as survival sex or low-wage employment.
Livelihood initiatives should aim to protect and promote food security, where feasible, through agricultural production, small businesses and employment. Possibilities for positive livelihood strategies for camp residents should be context specific, with fair remuneration. Livelihood strategies should prevent further asset loss and promote self-reliance and recovery. Existing livelihood and coping strategies should be supported, where possible and when relevant, with a view to longer-term opportunities.
In the absence of, or working in coordination with a food security and livelihoods agency, the Camp Management Agency should assess existing skills and possibilities for livelihoods for camp residents within and outside the camp.
Camp residents should have access to local markets. Market places should also be established within the camp where regular commercial exchange can take place between camp residents and host communities. However, it should also be taken into consideration that markets constitute a pull-factor. Safe access for all should be promoted and monitored by the Camp Management Agency, and a camp committee should be appointed to take care of planning and daily running of the market place.
Employment of the camp population in projects around the camp, like the clearing of a newly selected site through food-for-work (FFW) or cash-for-work (CFW) activities, is another way to provide livelihood opportunities for the camp population.