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
Guatemala: Land ownership yields stronger, healthier communities
Families in the rural highlands are dependent on the land, but years of civil war have diminished resources. Find out how they are rebuilding from the ground up.
Niger: "There is nothing to eat"
During the two weeks I recently spent with in Niger with our emergency response teams, I kept hearing the same thing over and over: There is nothing to eat.
Niger: Families seek food assistance
Due to worsening food shortages, the nutritional screening centers that Mercy Corps established several years ago have experienced a massive increase in patients.
Niger: Mother and child in Niger
One of many mothers worried about the lack of food for their children after severe drought and a meager 2011 harvest have brought the lean season to Filingue and the rest of Niger months early.
Niger: Malnutrition screenings in Filingue
Mothers — and often grandmothers caring for babies left orphaned — come to the nutritional screening center in Filingue, where Mercy Corps volunteers assess each child for malnourishment using arm measurements and a formula that takes into account age and weight.
Myanmar: A father plants seeds for a new future
A wide grin spreads across U Myo Zaw’s long, lively face as he eyes his new watering cans and vegetable seeds. The relatively simple supplies will help him cultivate his own small plot of land, a tremendous symbol of personal progress for him.
Japan: Women back to work as seaweed harvesting begins
Yesterday I met Hiroko Mirura. In her early 60s, Ms. Mirura is a former scallop merchant, proud wife of a fisherman, and a strong female leader in the town of Minamisanriku.
Niger: The growing food crisis in Niger
There’s a crisis brewing in Niger, West Africa.
Ethiopia: Grain storage bags make a big impact for Ethiopia's farmers
Ethiopia: A simple solution makes a big impact for Ethiopia's farming families
When drought hits and families are struggling to survive, the solutions don’t always have to be complicated or expensive. As I learnt from our team in Ethiopia last year, something as simple as a sack can mean the difference between hunger and happiness for a farming family.