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: 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.
Mongolia: Songs of success
Tserennadmid is a woman with plenty to sing about. Her company, Zugraan Egshig, or Six Tunes, is a thriving tourism and produce business located in an especially scenic region of Mongolia's Arkhangai province.
Nepal: From unbanked to borrowers
If you’re a bank, eastern Nepal might not seem like the most desirable place to open new branches.
Myanmar: Daw Than Than Shwe, rice farmer
Fifty-five-year-old Daw Than Than Shwe, a mother of two, grows 27 acres of rice in Kyu Taw village in Myanmar's Irawaddy Delta.
Myanmar: Improving harvests in a cyclone's wake
Tun Myint, 61, has been farming since he was a teenager. Smiling broadly under a bamboo hat, he greeted us and was eager to take us to see his 20 acres of rice fields.
Afghanistan: What it's like in Helmand
Helmand, where I’ve worked for the last two years, is certainly a fascinating place. It is a place where you can wake to yet another suicide bombing that rattles the windows and leaves you wondering who might have been the target this time.
Kenya: 2.5 million bits of hope in northeast Kenya
Things are not getting better in the Horn of Africa. In the nearly three months since I visited the region, the landscape has gotten drier, and people and animals have become more desperate for water and food.
Ethiopia: Bigger harvests, safer food
I’m writing from under my mosquito net in Jijiga, Ethiopia. If you don’t know where that is, don’t feel bad. I didn’t either. I looked it up before I left home, of course, but Google maps only showed a big empty expanse that I suppose is meant to indicate sand.
Kenya: Drought pushing food prices up
Here's an example of how prices have skyrocketed in Kenya because of the drought. The conversion rate is simple: 100 Kenyan shilling equals a dollar.
Central African Republic: You are what you eat
Communal gardens are helping families cultivate new vegetables and easily access more nutritious food right in their own village.