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
Uganda: Truly, skills for employment and skills for life September 14, 2010
A few weeks ago, I was honored to serve as the Chief Judge at an interschool debate on HIV/AIDS prevention. Under a perfect blue Ugandan sky, youth from two neighboring schools prepared to deliver remarks on the importance of abstinence, safe sex, delayed marriage and healthy life choices.
Ethiopia: Celebrating a new home September 11, 2010
Just three months ago, Temam Khiyar was homeless. He lived with his wife and their four children in a lean-to constructed of wooden poles and scrap cloth on the hard red clay of a vacant lot. Not any more.
Ethiopia: Standing her ground and springing back September 10, 2010
In many places around the world, drought withers lawns. In Ethiopia, drought withers lives. "When I was young, I was beautiful," says 50-year-old Zesino Mohamed Shiro. "But years of drought and not having enough to eat makes you old."
Ethiopia: What’s beyond Paradise September 8, 2010
Indonesia: Revving the local economy August 24, 2010
Last month, the Mercy Corps team here in West Sumatra — of which I am a member —delivered sewing machines to 85 local women who were affected by last year's earthquake.
North Korea: Demystifying our work in North Korea August 20, 2010
In North Korea, Mercy Corps programs focus on alleviating hunger by expanding agricultural production. We also invite North Korean officials to the U.S. as part of building a humanitarian bridge between our country and theirs.
Kyrgyzstan: Оценить жизнь (Assessing life) August 20, 2010
My three months in Kyrgyzstan are nearly up! I am incredibly lucky to have been involved with our work here at such a pivotal time. While my duties have morphed as particular needs have arisen, I still recall my first assignment.
Haiti: Bringing food to Haiti's hungry families August 13, 2010
Families in Haiti’s Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite have been going hungry – not because food is not available, but because they cannot afford it.
Kyrgyzstan: VIDEO: But you don't have to take MY word for it! August 11, 2010
The decision process that goes into making a charitable contribution is different for each person. Still, most responsible donors have one thing in common — they want to know that their money is being used to help the intended recipients and that the programs being provided are beneficial.
Kosovo: Making the economy buzz August 9, 2010
Ali Rama is a 50-year-old beekeeper from the Vushtri Municipality in northern Kosovo. While Ali has enjoyed relative success in his honey production and sales for the last 10 years, he was looking to expand his business into new opportunities.