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
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.
Ethiopia: Meeting drought-stricken families' urgent needs in Ethiopia
Even before the current Horn of Africa drought reached its acute stage over the last several days, Mercy Corps was already hard at work on drought response activities throughout the region. So far, the majority of our drought-related activities have been in Ethiopia.
Kenya: Grandmother and granddaughter struggle against the drought
Nimu Adan and her baby granddaughter in drought-stricken Garissa, Kenya. Their family herds goats, and many of them are sick and starving.
Kenya: Struggling to keep a goat alive
I arrived in Garissa, Kenya — a city of at least 180,000 people not far from the border with Somalia — today after a long, hot drive from Nairobi. I’ll be in Garissa and areas to the north for the remainder of the week to see how this year’s drought has impacted families in the area.
Indonesia: Pushing back the sea
Indonesia: A video blog from Indonesia's remote Mentawai Islands
Somalia: Will the U.S. stand by as famine looms in Somalia?
"The drought has gotten so bad that we have seen camels dying of thirst," recounted a Mercy Corps colleague during my recent visit to Somalia.
South Sudan: South Sudan - The birth of a nation
Mercy Corps began programs in South Sudan in 2004 to help devastated communities rebuild after decades of civil war. As South Sudan declares its independence from the north, Mercy Corps staff looks at the progress the people have made in the past six years.
Indonesia: Saving for the future, one coffee harvest at a time