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
Kosovo: Not small potatoes August 9, 2010
Naim Fejza is a veteran potato farmer in the small town of Mogila in southern Kosovo. For his entire adult life, he and his household — which includes his parents, wife and three children — have eked out a living on the small income from the sales of potatoes on their farm.
Uganda: In northern Uganda, hope springs eternal August 4, 2010
As the brutal twenty-year civil war in Uganda has unofficially ended, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have exited Pader — a district in the country’s northern Acholiland — which was for many years at the epicenter of atrocities committed by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Vote now to help bring healthier food to children! August 4, 2010
Over the past several months, we've posted many articles about our Kedai Balitaku (My Child's Café) program to help bring healthy food to Indonesia children. You may have read about it — and now's your chance to help us do more with the program!
Kyrgyzstan: A fund in Kyrgyzstan to rebuild micro-enterprises July 15, 2010
In a quiet Osh neighborhood there stands a torched shop with no roof. The hot afternoon sun shines over what little remains of Nadira Abdusatarova’s once-thriving seamstress business.
Needs Grow As Economic Crisis Spreads July 5, 2010
How is the economic crisis affecting you? Most of us are feeling it in some way. We're thinking harder about what we can afford and what we can do without. Routine purchases a few months ago now seem unnecessary or out of financial reach.
Uganda: From our photo library: An 'Easter egg' from Uganda July 2, 2010
Staff members send me photos they've come across pretty regularly. The special ones I call "Easter eggs" because they're such a pleasant discovery.
Haiti: Bringing help to Haiti’s rural economy June 28, 2010
An estimated 90,000 earthquake survivors fled Port-au-Prince to Haiti’s Central Plateau. Even before the quake, this was one of the country’s poorest regions. Its agricultural economy has suffered from environmental degradation and poor infrastructure.
Tajikistan: Sewing for success June 23, 2010
Last week I visited Mercy Corps’ first youth employment project to get started under the Tajikistan Stability Enhancement Program, the program I’m assisting with this summer. In the sweltering heat, we entered a small room with five girls working away on sewing machines.
Indonesia: Video: Our Work in Jakarta June 13, 2010
There are so many ways to know whether a project could really have an impact in communities that we work in. The most frequent method use is, of course, conduct a base line assessment (output: numbers) and then conduct the end line assessment (output: numbers) and compare the two of them.
Mongolia: D-z-u-d spells "disaster" for Mongolian herders June 10, 2010
Ever heard of a "dzud"? It's pronounced zuhd, and it's an extraordinarily harsh Mongolian winter -- the kind where temperatures plummet, animals freeze to death, and you can enter your house only through the roof because that's how high the snow is.