The faces behind the projects
At its very heart, trade-related assistance is about investing in four Ps: people, processes, policies and productivity. Behind every intervention, every project, every dollar spent, there is a human face.
With Aid for Trade levelling out, traditional aid budgets strained and some questioning the impact of assistance in building trade capacity, it is important to remember that face. To be truly sustainable, Aid for Trade has to do more than propose quick fixes. It has to get to the knot of the problem and untie that which creates inefficiencies or stifles productive potential. Sometimes the outcome is immediate, but more often the impact is long term and sometimes generational.
Behind every project there is a face. There is Marey in Papua New Guinea working on bilum bag weaving; there is Odion from Benin harvesting cashew nuts; there is Awino in Kenya working on climate resilient tea farming; there is Chanda in Cambodia weaving silk using traditional methods; Farhana in Bangladesh is developing IT products; Mafi in Ethiopia is creating international fashion designs. Supporting them are hundreds of people and their families. The long-term impact may be challenging to quantify but investing in them today is to create change agents for the future.
These photographs are examples of some International Trade Centre projects on the ground. They portray projects having impact on the lives of people by untangling the path to market, providing opportunities and building resilience.