Economic Growth & Development

Within the framework of SDG8 (to create sustainable growth, full, productive and decent work & employment); RET provides employment opportunities, that align with national laws and regulations, to refugees, displaced people, and host community members, with a particular focus on youth, women, and persons with disabilities. RET provides technical support to increase the employability profile and access to income generation of refugees and other crisis-affected people, as well as assistance to relevant and market-driven entrepreneurship skills training or technical and vocational programs.

To achieve locally sustained outcomes, RET focuses on increasing the self-sufficiency and self-reliance of refugee and displaced young people and their families along with those affected in the host communities by displacement, conflict, violence and promoting stable, resilient, and prosperous societies through various tools: Self- Reliance & Socio-Economic Strengthening, Livelihoods opportunities; Life skills; Agriculture; Digital Work; Small Market Oriented; Business Development; Social Entrepreneurship and Rural Development.

We believe that people must influence the processes that shape their lives. RET’s interventions in the Economic Growth & Development sector work toward creating durable development results by ending the need for any external support. RET’s vision is to enable the most vulnerable to become more resilient and lead their development journey towards rebuilding more resilient and peaceful communities.


Decent Employment Contributes to Conflict Prevention and Peace-building
Mainstreaming Social Cohesion: 
RET’s approach aims to mainstream social cohesion and peaceful coexistence through equitable access to livelihoods and decent jobs. Equitable access to livelihoods helps prevent outbreaks of social tension between communities experiencing a sense of inequality and injustice, including refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities. SDG 8 (Decent Work) is an essential element of the triple nexus RET is using and represents RET’s approach in mitigating the socio-economic adversities through (1) Employment & Income Generation Opportunities (2) Enhancing Skills for Employability and (3) Institution-building & Social Dialogue that can contribute to peace and resilience. 

RET is providing job initiatives to build the resilience of affected communities, especially women, and is also addressing discrimination over access to resources and livelihoods. RET’s approach is to create jobs, reinforce skills, and local economic development as a way to contribute to more peaceful and resilient societies. Through its adoption to a human rights-based approach, ensuring “Do No Harm” and adopting a conflict-sensitive approach, RET is protecting and building the resilience of vulnerable people in crises, conflicts, and protracted crises; thus, impacting development, peace, and social cohesion positively. 


Women Socio-Economic Empowerment
RET’s programs are concerned by young people in general. However, we do believe that by working consistently with vulnerable young women and mothers, our programs not only respond to pressing needs, but have a greater impact and effectiveness. Young women and mothers are amongst the most vulnerable in crises but are also often heads of households and play essential roles in the lives of children, youth and the family unit as a whole. A person’s gender still greatly affects their opportunities and achievements. The social, economic and cultural development of societies has created different gender roles, which are in most cases advantageous to men and detrimental to women. This gap widens in fragile contexts, as evidence shows that masculinities and femininities are heightened during a crisis. Also, when general violence in communities rises there is a noted increase in gender-based violence. The use of rape as a weapon or forced early marriages are among the most notorious examples. Therefore, focusing on young women, adolescent mothers, women heads of households, young widows is vital in the perspective of addressing the most pressing needs. However, the logic for focusing on women goes beyond this question of vulnerability; it is also an issue of impact and effectiveness. Targeting young women has far reaching positive impacts as they are very often at the heart of the family, influence children’s education, play important roles in health, nutrition as well as household management and income. The more education a woman has, the better the opportunities for the children and the families as a whole. The return on investment of working to protect young women through education is therefore extremely high.

RET is committed to enabling girls and young women affected by disasters, or in fragile contexts and protracted crises, by promoting the sustainable development goals (SDG’s); in particular, (SDG8) Decent Work, (SDG 3) to live healthy lives & to promote wellbeing for all and (SDG 5) to advance gender equality and women & girls’ empowerment. 
The socio-economic empowerment program addresses the needs of refugee and vulnerable local women and their families’ living in semi-urban and peripheral areas, by (1) strengthening their self-reliance (2) building their employability profile (3) improving their income generation prospects and (4) Enterprise/entrepreneurial support (Including Coops); in tandem with raising their awareness regarding gender-based violence & sexual and reproductive health matters. The program also promotes conflict mitigation and streamline social cohesion with the ultimate aim of Inclusion and Integration. The program decreased the vulnerability of refugee women through support mechanisms that would increase their employability and economic productivity and provide them with a more protective social environment.



Benefitting Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants
Multisectoral Approach: Protection, Economic Growth & Development, Migration & Mobility
This 24-month project, supported by UNHCR and PRM, responds to the needs of the most vulnerable Venezuelans in border areas, in strategic points along the six main migratory routes used to travel into host cities. The project will strengthen “Safe Protection Routes ” that will operate through two mechanisms: The Integrated Support Spaces (EAI) and the RET Support and Orientation Points (PAO) located in urban, rural and border areas.
RET will provide interventions that will contribute to strengthening the humanitarian response and protection for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia by assisting vulnerable people in need of international protection through guidance and information about migratory options in Colombia and other destination countries and legal advice to regularize migratory status in Colombia with economic support for immigration proceedings. Venezuelan will receive psychosocial assistance (individual, family and group), will be provided with gender violence response kits in 20 local health centers in cooperation with UNFPA and support will be provided to access shelters for migrant women with newly arrived families including care for small children when migrant/refugee women look for an employment. Finally, and towards creating sustainable income generation sources to families, RET will provide migrant/refugee women with livelihoods opportunities, linking women who are heads of household to technical training processes, learning skilled trades and support processes to gain employment while they receive shelter support. Coordination efforts with other NGOs, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations will be emphasized to avoid duplication and enhance service impact and complementarity. Likewise, RET will coordinate its response with the RETs offices in Ecuador and Peru, as part of the safe migratory routes that it promotes in South America.


Building networks to improve self-sufficiency and integration: strengthening institutional capacities for the assistance, protection and inclusion of asylum seekers and refugees in Panama and Colon
Multisectoral Approach: Protection, Economic Growth & Development, Migration & Mobility, Social Inclusion
According to statistics from the National Office for Refugee Affairs, Panama has two thousand three hundred and nighty-nine recognized refugees and a backlog of approximately two thousand applications from asylum seekers. These populations face important limits to their socio-economic integration into the host community. A lack of access to health services and psychosocial support; the high cost of living and of basic food or school supplies; little access to documentation or psycho-educational and pedagogical support (which limits school enrolment and permanence); as well as scarce capacity building opportunities to start or strengthen sustainable livelihoods are all contributing factors to this limited integration.
The project focused on bridging these gaps using various approaches. It included access to health, shelter and food during emergencies, legal assistance, psychosocial support, access to education and pedagogical support for educational permanence, access to bank accounts and loans, and the development of capacities to generate sustainable livelihoods. The project is also centered on protection and prevention against xenophobia and discrimination, supporting persons in need of international protection in the access and enjoyment of their rights (legal assistance), in addition to providing institutional strengthening to local government organizations and community groups. The project increased self-sufficiency and integration opportunities for vulnerable refugee families and asylum seekers by strengthening partnerships and networks with key public institutions and civil society organizations that provide humanitarian assistance and basic services.


Building bridges of assistance, protection and integration for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Perú
Multisectoral Approach: Protection, Economic Growth & Development, Social Inclusion, Health WASH & Food security
Peru is the second destination country for Venezuelan people fleeing the socio-economic and political crisis affecting their country. Peru also shows a high number of migrants and asylum seekers coming from the Americas. During their migratory journey and at the border crossing points, migrants and asylum seekers require basic assistance such as food, transportation and shelter and often face protection risks. The objective of this project is to provide humanitarian assistance, protection and sustainable local integration of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in Peru, in coordination with local government entities in Lima, Tumbes and Arequipa.
The project provides humanitarian assistance to Venezuelan asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants focusing on health, nutrition, water and shelter, and by strengthening their leadership skills and coping mechanisms through the provision of livelihood opportunities to advance integration into the Peruvian host community. In addition, the project provides strengthening to public local institutions and civil servants and protection to vulnerable young women and girls facing or at risk of gender-based violence.


Refugee and Asylum Seekers in Belize
Multisectoral Approach: Economic Growth & Development, Social Inclusion, Health WASH & Food security
The continued escalation of violence in the Northern Triangle, and Belize’s classification as a transient country, has led to an increased number of asylum seekers in Belize. Belize’s laws governing refugees, asylum seekers and other forms of migrants criminalizes status-related infractions and classifies such persons as ‘prohibited migrant”. These laws have created restrictions on the mobility of vulnerable groups trying to enter Belize through the proper legal channels and forced them to either entering Belize using informal port of entries or causing them to hide within communities along the borders.

The social Integration project aims at supporting and enabling a more comprehensive and sustained integration of refugees, asylum seekers and in particularly persons of concern (PoCs), through legal counselling and refugee status procedures; engagement in integration initiatives; and, access to livelihoods opportunities.