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
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.
Niger: Feeding families in the Sahel
Haiti: Farmers digging deep to repair the land
Haiti is a land stripped bare.
Nepal: Harikala, green mango pickle maker
Harikala makes green mango pickles. Thanks to Mercy Corps, she received a loan to purchase spices, oils, tools and containers. She repaid that loan and took out a second one to expand her business.
Niger: Harvesting hope in the Sahel
The hunger crisis is devastating families across the Sahel, and our emergency response work is crucial to averting famine here. But so are long-term solutions that help people withstand the cycles of drought and hunger that plague this region.
Niger: Children suffer most in hunger crisis
Lauretta dreams of becoming a teacher. But she hasn’t been to school since January, when she had to drop out in order to help her family at home.