Agriculture Market Development Initiative: A HANDS sub-program

The Problem: Liberia’s food supply has been unstable and thus a concern for a number of years.  After years of civil war, 85% of Liberians have no access to healthcare, 70% depend solely on agriculture for their food production, and 50% are at ‘poor’ or ‘borderline’ food consumption. As a result, the country is at 80% Food Insecurity.

The Solution: In partnership with OIC International, our team implemented a Food-for-Work program as a part of the USAID/OICI HANDS (Health, Agriculture, Nutrition, Development and Sustainability) program. With a focus on agricultural market development, our team developed vocational training and micro-grants initiatives, as well as provided food to community members in return for working on projects that benefited the community. This included: road rehabilitation and infrastructure reconstruction work programs, small jumpstart grants, intertwined with extensive agricultural training, mentoring and coaching, followed by the distribution of $100 micro-grants.

The Impact: Micro-grants given to 422 farmers; 123 community members employed through the food-for-work program; 6 new shelters, 2 bridges and several latrines constructed.

Funder: USAID Food for Progress, through OIC International
Duration: 2010-2012


Mustafa Omar, CEO

Mustafa Omar
Chief Executive Officer

Mustafa Omar has worked for Shelter For Life International in the field and Headquarters management positions; managing projects, leading new business development, and guiding operations around the world. Mr. Omar was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan and has worked in post-conflict reconstruction, Disaster Risk Reduction caused by human or natural phenomena, and market-revitalization efforts in Central Asia, East and West Africa, Europe, and Middle East for the past twenty (20) plus years. Mustafa holds graduate degrees in business administration and urban planning and is working on a PhD at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Topics of research and professional interest include Market Resilience and Social Risk-Management, Influence of Environmental Degradation on Fragile Markets, Impact of Improving Physical Space on Lasting Peace, and the Interaction between Modern Governance and Informal Market Structures.

Gordon Wright
Vice Chairman

Gordon A. Wright is Founder and President of over 40 years with JIMI International and is an Elder at Tulsa Christian Fellowship. Mr. Wright owned and operated a lawn and tree service business for nearly 15 years. Mr. Wright also served with the US Army for three years in the 1960s.Two of Mr. Wright’s years were spent in South Korea as a Brigade Intelligence Sergeant. Mr. Wright has provided mentoring and counseling to spiritual leaders around the world; with specific attention to individuals in Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet Bloc countries. Mr. Wright helped to found and direct East/West Resources International and Global Assistance Partners International. Mr. Wright has served as one of the original founding board of directors for Shelter For Life International. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Gordon grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.