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
Tajikistan: Turning water into cash November 15, 2010
“For the last three years, my yields have been 30 percent of what they were before,” says Sabur Kumischev, as he makes a sweeping motion with his hand indicating the land where his crops are grown. “All I could grow was corn. The other farmers could only grow corn.
Afghanistan: Better than meeting Springsteen November 11, 2010
Some people are thrilled to meet rock stars or celebrities. I, on the other hand, get really excited about meeting grape growers.
Pakistan: Nothing more precious than a buffalo November 10, 2010
Small farmers all over Sindh province were hit hard by this past summer’s catastrophic flooding. Most of these farmers are very poor, living on less than $2 a day.
Haiti: How we're helping families in Haiti's rural villages November 5, 2010
I arrived in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday of this week, just ahead of Tomas, the tropical storm that just passed through Haiti today.
Pakistan: Bringing hope to those who have none November 4, 2010
After three long months, many of Pakistan’s millions of flood-displaced citizens are starting to return home. Most are happy and relieved, but all are grappling with the next phase of this devastating disaster: how to rebuild when they have nothing left.
Haiti: Ready, Steady, Yo! October 28, 2010
Over the weekend of October 16, the third annual “Artisans en Fête” (Artisans Festival) took place in Port-au-Prince. The two-day fair attracted more than 200 artisans that came from all corners of Haiti, presenting wares such as arts, crafts, regional beverages, foods and clothing.
Tajikistan: In Central Asia's hidden treasure October 26, 2010
As a Desk Officer going on a field visit for the very first time, I could not have asked for a better place to visit than Tajikistan. I’ve come to think of it as a lost and/or hidden treasure in the middle of Central Asia.
Indonesia: Chocolate starts out tasting like vanilla yoghurt — who knew? October 23, 2010
Whenever I travel, I’m always sure to pack an emergency supply of chocolate. But until yesterday, when I saw cacao trees for the first time and talked to cacao famers in Indonesia about the help they are getting from Mercy Corps, I’d never really thought about where it comes from.
Kosovo: Coming home after more than 11 years of displacement October 21, 2010
After 11 years of living in the lead-contaminated internally-displaced person (IDP) camps of Cesmin Lug and Osterode near North Mitrovica, Kosovo, the first wave of 50 Kosovo Roma families are resettling into their former neighborhood of Roma Mahalla in the city of South Mitrovica.
West Bank and Gaza: Helping young women in the West Bank engineer a better future October 15, 2010
“Wow! Look at this turn out – there are so many people here today!”