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
Timor-Leste: Fighting hunger in a neglected nation
In one of the world's newest countries, where over one-third of the population regularly experiences food shortages, we're helping 4,500 subsistence farmers build the foundation for sustainable change.
Haiti: Three years later, investing in the long-term
Since the January 2010 earthquake, Mercy Corps has reached more than 1.6 million people with lifesaving assistance. Now, we're investing in youth, small business owners and rural communities to build back stronger.
Haiti: Building back stronger
Through programs that empower young people, support entrepreneurs, and protect valuable natural resources, Haitians are finding new reasons to hope.
Indonesia: Food carts on a whole new scale
In Jakarta, our teams found that 17% percent of children under 5 are malnourished, while 12% are overweight.
Myanmar: An acre of rice for Kyi
In rural Sit Kone village, accessible only by a two-hour boat ride from the closest town, Kyi (pictured left) depends on his land to support his family of eight.
Niger: A goat for Santou
Feeding six children has not been easy for Santou — especially as a hunger crisis took hold of Niger and the entire Sahel region of West Africa this year.
Niger: Women farming more food
In the Djolley Fandou village in the drought-stricken Tillaberi region of Niger, women are in charge of the farming; most of the men left early on during the hunger crisis to find work in the city.
Niger: One more meal
At the second of three cash distributions in Niger, Mercy Corps staff heard that families have been able to eat one additional meal every day thanks to the support.
Ethiopia: Coping with drought by building peace
We sent out a team to research why one drought-stricken community was coping so well. The findings were striking: When local conflict had been addressed, people were far better equipped to survive the drought.
Mali: Families stock up on food
Mercy Corps teams are distributing emergency monthly vouchers to families in northern Mali that allow them to buy food on the local market. The money gets them a month's supply of the necessary basics they choose; most are stocking up on oil and rice.