Nothing is more basic to human well-being than having enough nutritious food to eat. Yet one in every eight people in the world — 842 million — are trapped in a cycle of hunger and poverty.
The reality is that most of the world doesn't have the benefit of picking up food from the corner store — they grow it themselves. Hunger is a crisis when disaster ruins the harvest. It is a cycle when families cannot grow or buy enough to lead healthy, productive lives, and when the effects of malnutrition are passed on to the next generation.
When food shortages occur due to drought and conflict, Mercy Corps helps prevent hunger and treat malnutrition in the most vulnerable — children, pregnant women, the elderly and the displaced. We distribute vouchers, cash or emergency rations, working with local suppliers to speed delivery, save money and boost local economies.
In addition to emergency responses, we focus on long-term solutions that build future food security.
Mercy Corps helps farmers manage their land, increase their harvests and diversify crops to produce a larger, more nutritious, and stable food supply. By teaching nutrition and hygiene, we ensure families can utilize their resources to boost their health. And we connect farmers with new markets and introduce more efficient methods of tending productive livestock and processing and storing crops to increase incomes for years to come.
All stories about Agriculture & Food
Guatemala: Fresher food, better nutrition, happier families
In the northern highlands of Guatemala, the signs and symptoms of malnutrition are a common sight: stunted growth, underweight bodies and visible fatigue.
Indonesia: Retooling Mentawai and helping it grow again
Indonesia's Mentawai Islands have a very hot and arid climate but, because of high rainfall and minimal pests, it is great for agriculture. When the tsunami hit last October, Mentawai residents ran from the waves with only the clothes on their backs. Most tools and crops were lost.
Kenya: Lifesaving relief for families in northeastern Kenya
“People here are falling down in masses ... it will be too late to do anything if we don't act now,” our emergency response leader in northeastern Kenya just told me on a phone call.
Indonesia: Joining the fanfare: a visit to the RW Siaga Plus+ program
I found myself being swept along with the wave of elementary students marching in the streets. Although at first I didn’t know the words to the song they were singing, I soon learned and sang along.
Myanmar: Buffalo dominoes
During the eight-hour drive from Yangon to Myanmar’s Delta region, I’d seen lots of beautiful water buffalo hanging out in mud by the side of the dirt roads, flicking their ears lazily. Farmers across the delta rely on them to help plough their land, so they’re a common sight.
Japan: Re-opening Ofunato's fish market
The tsunami poured through the Ofunato fish market, leaving the open-plan structure mostly intact but washing away almost everything within it.
Kenya: Chronicles of a "drought widow"
One of the saddest things about the current drought in the Horn of Africa is that it’s destroying families. Men go off with livestock to find water — often traveling hundreds of miles for months at a time — or they drop out of pastoral life and flow into towns to look for odd jobs.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia: Not just hunger, but fear
Nearly everyone in the world experiences hunger at some point during their day. That said, it's different for all of us.
Kenya: Chatting with the richest man in town
Today the Mercy Corps team visited Elwak, a small town in the northeast corner of Kenya that lies only about eight kilometers from Somalia. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to the poorest of the poor about how their lives are impacted by the drought that’s plaguing this region.
Kenya: The plight of a “pastoralist drop-out”
I’m a big fan of visiting markets, especially during Mercy Corps trips. It seems that even in the bleakest parts of the world, markets are vibrant, dynamic and often colorful places.