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
Guatemala: The different sparks of a cooking recipe
Part of the health and nutrition strengthening strategies used by Mercy Corps' PROCOMIDA program with Guatemalan communities consists of recipe demonstrations to beneficiary mothers.
Nepal: Bamboo and bio-engineering interventions for mitigation of riverbank erosion
Floods are a major hazard in Nepal contributing to endemic poverty, an occurrence that is likely to increase and magnify due to climate change.
Guatemala: Traveling the roads of resilient children
I recently went to visit the communities of Yalchactic I and Salvador Chizol, near the city of Cobán in Guatemala's mountainous Alta Verapaz region. A large portion of the access roads to these communities are in very bad shape.
Timor-Leste: Sharing the responsibility to grow more food
After a bumpy six hour drive from our head office in Dili, we finally reached our first destination on my recent field visit in Timor-Leste: the village of Maununu.
Fasting for the poor and hungry
For the last four days, I've been helping fight hunger by changing my diet. I've chosen a diet similar to that of many of the people Mercy Corps works with around the world: basic staple foods like rice, beans, greens and a bit of fruit.
Kosovo: A life-changing project for a Roma community
Ramadan Sahiti is a 37-year-old Roma farmer from the village of Koshare/Košare in southern Kosovo.
Timor-Leste: Farmers in Timor-Leste store up for a better future
The road to Ainaro District from Dili —the capital city of Timor-Leste, one of the world's newest countries — has never been as bad as it is now, at least in my experience.
Somalia: A lot has changed
It was a long journey full of rough terrains and sleepless nights while we were assessing the areas that have been hit by droughts in the Bari Region of Puntland, Somalia. Farmers and pastoralists lost most of their assets and suffered from lack of water.
Myanmar: Small animals bring big dreams
Cyclone Nargis, which devastated large swaths of Myanmar (known also as Burma) in 2008, took everything from residents like 59-year-old Daw Hla Kyi — including her livestock.
Iraq: VIDEO: "Sadness has become my food and my clothes"
Over the course of the week and a half I've been in northern Iraq so far, I've seen — and heard — a lot about Kurdish culture. It's extremely hospitable, thoughtful and fiercely passionate.