2021 was a challenging year, characterised by the slow recovery of economies in the region and the persistence of COVID-19 with its variants, which negatively impacted income generation for the population, the growth of the private sector and public investment. Against this backdrop, Swisscontact worked a strong systemic approach to strengthen the resilience of people, the environment, the economy and contribute to the stability of the region.
The results show that we have done a great job and that our trajectory together with the private and public sector has strengthened institutions, associations and MSMEs to reduce poverty and contribute to economic growth with decent work and opportunities for people.
To face the crisis, Swisscontact promoted key elements in the areas of skills development, resilience based on lifelong learning, as well as training based on the work environment and the incorporation of upskilling and reskilling processes. Similarly, the adaptation of our project activities to the new context included virtual training in skills development to promote the entry of a qualified workforce into the labour market, the development of online applications, coaching and support for virtual business models.
To achieve a resilient agricultural sector that enhances local development and food security, we promote climate-smart techniques and the use of genetic materials adapted to climate change. We partnered with the private sector to achieve improvements in quality and consistency with supply chain standards. We promote the protection of ancestral crops and producers' access to national and international markets, with fair and competitive prices.
In the area of green cities, Swisscontact contributed to climate change mitigation and environmental pollution reduction through interventions to improve air quality in cities and solid waste recycling. Applying the Circular Economy concept, Swisscontact supported municipalities in improving their waste management. It strengthened green businesses that offer environmental products and services to manage larger quantities of tyres, batteries, and scrap metal, thus generating more income.