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
Tajikistan: From tomatoes to empowerment
While we’re spending this month focused entirely on the transport and distribution of wheat flour, lentils and oil to nearly 5,000 women, it’s actually a small component of USAID and Mercy Corps’ Single Year Assistance Program (SYAP) here.
The multiplier effect of wine
I have to admit, one of my favorite field visits involved moderate intoxication, plates of sausage and gales of hearty laughter.
Tajikistan: It's lunchtime!
Working out in the field is exhilarating for so many reasons. It’s a chance to see the program in action; to meet with locals and hear their stories; and to take in the stunning landscape that this country offers so effortlessly. Oh, and then there’s lunch.
A man does what he must to provide for his family. But in the small West African nation of Togo, it goes much deeper than that: each man is assigned a name based on the things he does, and is constantly judged by it.
Myanmar: Regrowing the Garden
Life here in Bo Kone, Myanmar, a village of about a thousand people, has never been easy. Located on an isolated island in the Irrawaddy Delta, it's about an hour's boat ride to the nearest town.
Sri Lanka: Farming Rice, Intensively
Rice is central to Sri Lanka's economy and culture. So it's not hard to imagine how a new technique for improving rice production would be eagerly welcomed by farmers like Kanthi Weerasinghe.
Kyrgyzstan: Leaving a Blooming Legacy
The 2,000 people of Tosor are proud of their little lakeside village. Located at the base of a spectacular mountain range, on the shores of one of the world's largest mountain lakes, Tosor boasts a long history of writers, painters and composers.
Myanmar: Burmese farmers caught in poverty trap
Farming communities in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta have always followed a cycle of debt. Each year, wealthy land owners would lend farmers money, tools and cattle needed to till the soil. After the harvest, the debt is repayed and the cycle continues.
Sri Lanka: Financing Higher Yields
Thalankudha, Sri Lanka — When I met farmer Suman Suntharalingam in front of his mud-walled home here, he had just returned from selling 15 pounds of long beans and buying fuel for his water pump — two tasks that could be traced back to help he received from Mercy Corps.
Sri Lanka: Rice and Recovery
Mercy Corps continues to help Sri Lanka "build back better" from the tsunami, and focus on the country's culinary staple — rice — as a way to lift farmers' incomes and protect families against global price shocks.