Markets, whether large or small, keep communities thriving. But conflicts, disasters and a lack of infrastructure can prevent people from conducting the daily transactions on which all growth and progress depend. Around the world, Mercy Corps discovers why commerce is stuck.
In some places, manufacturers need loans to purchase equipment and young people desire job skills. In others, key transportation routes to market must be rebuilt or farmers require better storage to keep their inventory fresh until sold.
Our economic development projects provide financing, equipment, training or technical support. These projects help people find jobs, build their businesses, supply their communities with the goods they need —and improve their lives.
All stories about Economic opportunity
Nepal: To combat hunger, Janaki learns new ways to grow, store and sell
I’m pretty sure Bill Gates hasn’t met Janaki Bhatta. But I’m just as sure he’d see in her a kindred spirit — a feisty entrepreneur who’s taking some smart steps to increase her yields of aloo (potato) and audha (ginger) — and the income she earns from them.
India: Shubina, the bee-keeper of Kashmir
The upper Kashmir Valley, lined by the foothills of the Himalayas, is an idyllic spot for raising honeybees. Saffron and mustard flowers, apple blossoms and acacia blanket the valley.
Nepal: Khadga Ramtel in Katwalguan village
Mercy Corps’ Khadga Ramtel, a monitoring and evaluation officer for our agricultural and infrastructure work, talks with women in the village of Katwalguan.
Japan: 90-day report from Japan
Japan: More than up to the challenge
Since mere moments before Japan's tsunami hit, and after long weeks of enduring its aftermath, Tsutomu Nakai has been faced with a series of unimaginable decisions. Some saved his life, and his family's lives. Other decisions put their personal lives on hold.
Japan: A small and opportune oasis
Right now, the city of Rikuzentakata, Japan is a food desert — a place where it's nearly impossible to find and buy fresh, nutritious food. Grocery stores and other shops were washed away by the tsunami. The closest markets are at least a half-hour away by car.
Kyrgyzstan: Vegetables out of thin air
Sary-Mogol is a very remote village in the Chon-Alai region of southern Kyrgyzstan, located at 3,000 meters above sea level.
Iraq: Closing the gap: Gender-equitable access to education
Haiti: A culture of entrepreneurship
Mention of Haiti often brings forth images of rampant unemployment, desperation and a society of people who are just barely making ends meet. While this is not an incorrect image, it is incomplete.
Kyrgyzstan: Cash to improve food security in southern Kyrgyzstan
On a recent crisp spring day in Osh, I was milling about one of our distribution sites in the Alymbek-Datka neighborhood, chatting with program participants.