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 famers 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
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
Guatemala: "Broadcasting" important health and nutrition news in rural Guatemala
Each time I showed up to small and faraway communities where the heat was unbearable, where there was no electricity to turn on a light bulb, where there was no wind to ease the heat in the air — and where the field workers were parking their motorcycles and placing their gear on the dried grass
Ethiopia: Tackling water poverty
India: Chipping in to help India's farmers grow potatoes
When you mention potatoes, most Americans would think “Idaho.” Few would think the Kashmir Valley in the Himalaya Mountains. But Mercy Corps did. In 2010, Mercy Corps supported an experiment growing seed potatoes in the upper regions of the Kashmir Valley.
Guatemala: Molding more than corn — molding nutrition
One of Guatemala's main staple foods is corn — in fact, Guatemalans sometimes even refer to themselves as “corn people.” One of the traditional ways to consume corn here is in the form of tortillas.
Guatemala: Mercy Corps Guatemala program featured in USAID Frontlines magazine
USAID's Frontlines magazine recently showcased Mercy Corps Guatemala’s Innovative Market Alliance for Rural Entrepreneurs (IMARE) program through the personal story of Delma Gomez, one of t