Kore Lavi

Kore Lavi: A New Way to Do Food Aid

Publication info



The Kore Lavi program directly supports the Government of Haiti’s social protection efforts through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST). With the generous support of USAID, and in partnership with the World Food Programme, World Vision, Action Against Hunger, Kore Lavi  is implementing a safety net program that improves access to locally produced foods among vulnerable households.  The program also focuses on maternal and child health and nutrition interventions for pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age. The program is implemented in 23 communes of 5 departments of Haiti. Beneficiaries get access to fresh fruits and vegetables, are able to participate in a formal market, and exercise their sense of dignity by being able to make their own food choices. In turn, local farmers are able to receive a fair price for their products, participate in a stronger market, and meet the needs of their community. This innovative approach also is setting the ground for a sustainable program that can be country-led and county-run in the future, in order to provide local systems that address the long-standing issues of chronic food insecurity.

So far, 109,790 people benefited from social assistance in the first year of program implementation, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST)has created a vulnerability targeting and data base for 30,000 households, and 9,720 households are building assets for self reliance and risk management.


Innovative Approaches

  • Buy locally produced: Kore Lavi is using a system of paper and electronic vouchers to buy locally produced grains and vegetables.  This means money is going to local farmers and businessmen, and is growing the local economy. Supporting female entrepreneurship is a key component of in providing vouchers for nutritional locally produced food.
  • Be Accountable: Working with the Haitian government, Kore Lavi has built a database of poor and vulnerable people that qualify for voucher assistance. Beneficiaries are interviewed to make sure that assistance is going to where it is needed most – particularly to families with children. Kore Lavi has also built a hotline for people to bring up complaints if they think we got it wrong.  People can hold Kore Lavi accountable to providing the services we promised to them, and we make sure tax-payer dollars are going to good use.
  • Skip monetization: Rather than forcing Haitian smallholder farmers to compete with imported U.S. grain by selling US surplus into the local market, Kore Lavi is buying local.  We’re supporting local businesses, rather than undermining them.
  • Build Partnerships: From the beginning, Kore Lavi has been working with the government of Haiti to make sure that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor can run the program and understands it every step of the way. Local farmers and producers have been vetted, and partner to provide this service to the community.
  • Plan to leave: The vision is that Kore Lavi will phase out over time and the Haitian government will take over.  By implementing every aspect of the program in collaboration with local officials, Kore Lavi is building local capacity and fostering local ownership of the program – from framers, to beneficiaries, to government officials – Kore Lavi is ensuring that the program can be taken over and carried forward.


4 Strategic Objectives

Vulnerability Targeting and Data Base
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) leads  vulnerability targeting and data base  for 30,000 households,  and emphasizes a fair and effective mechanism for targeting households based on the Haitian context.  The Haiti Deprivation Vulnerability Index (HDVI) as a common methodology to measure vulnerability to ensure consistency as part of a new targeting approach.  Creating an overarching database of vulnerable households within MAST is also a priority. Kore Lavi reinforces MAST’s ability to collect and analyze data on vulnerable households, as well as centralize the data to create a single registry of beneficiaries.

Access to Locally Produced and Nutritious Foods
Kore Lavi creates access to locally produced and nutritious  foods for over 18,000 households through monthly electronic and paper food vouchers. The program establishes food vouchers as a social safety net, and is capable of scaling up nationally during emergencies. It also promotes social solidarity and women’s financial empowerment through creating of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in all the targeted municipalities. Enabling the poor, especially women and girls, to mobilize savings serves as a platform supporting households to leave the social safety net. Loans are granted to members of these groups to create and strengthen income generating activities. Additionally, implementation of a school feeding pilot program using local food and environmentally conscious cooking methods is part of providing access.  Distributing healthy and nutritious hot meals and snacks in some public primary schools promotes local entrepreneurship, improved production capacity and marketing practices.

Nutrition and Health Interventions
Targeting 173,000 beneficiaries with focus on pregnant and lactating women, children under two, and children under five suffering from moderate to acute malnutrition. Health and nutrition interventions to improve the nutritional status and enhance the quality of nutritional care for both mother and child.  Distribution of rations is subject to regular use of health services and participation in activities with lead-mothers and care groups in order to promote behavioral change and adoption of good nutritional practices. By working with working with Haiti’s Ministry to Health and collaborating with health facilities and multidisciplinary health agents good nutritional practices can be integrated into the healthcare framework.

Building Capacity
The Kore Lavi program aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Haitian government and civil society to implement, manage and coordinate gender responsive social safety nets. Key government institutions, partners and women use their decision-making capacity to enhance food security, planning and management of social safety net programs and emergency response. In addition, the program will support the Ministry of Women in promote the integration of gender issues in the programming of food aid and social assistance in Haiti.


Want to learn more?

Check out this Story of Impact, or the Kore Lavi Video. Look at the YouTube channel for all of the Kore Lavi Videos.

Read more about CARE's approach to Food Aid and World Hunger