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
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.
Mali: Emergency food aid is just the start
Mercy Corps teams are now providing desperately needed assistance in Mali to those who are struggling to find enough to eat.
Ethiopia: Feeding hungry babies
In Ida Adays village, our mobile health team weighed seven-month-old Nasteho Mohamed and found her to be malnourished. She weighed only 4kg, but at her age should be somewhere around 4.8kg.
Zimbabwe: Innovative farming initiative recognized at Clinton gathering
Mercy Corps and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation were recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City on Tuesday for their Commitment to Action to implement Agri-Fin Mobile.
Haiti: Isaac update: Safety nets working in storm's wake
As we've watched what became Hurricane Isaac batter the U.S. Gulf coast, the importance of a strengthened infrastructure and emergency plan is incredibly clear.
Haiti: Bringing trees back to the mountains
Farmer Selina Marie (right) carries tree saplings to plant throughout her farm, high in the mountainous community of Sibase.
Mali, Niger: What you want to know about the Sahel hunger crisis
The hunger crisis in the Sahel is not an immediate emergency that gets splashed across the evening news. Instead, the tragic circumstances of drought and failed harvests have been building since the beginning of the year.
Zimbabwe: Happier families are built on...mushrooms?
“At Mercy Corps we talk about ‘Be the change.’ This is The Change,” Lloyd Chasinda, Mercy Corps’ Project Officer in Checheche, Zimbabwe, tells me.
Ethiopia: One year later, helping children survive in the Horn of Africa
You might hear it called a “slow onset” emergency because, unlike the sudden strike of an earthquake, drought builds gradually. But don’t bother telling that to the mothers whose children are hanging on by a thread; slow isn’t the word they would choose. Grueling, they might say. Nerve-wracking.