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
Kyrgyzstan: The absence of a smile ≠ the absence of warmth
As Kyrgyzstan's October 10 elections approach, I think about my friends and colleagues over there and hope for their safety. Without a doubt, Kyrgyzstan and its people made an imprint on me, and taught me to challenge my assumptions.
Afghanistan: Afghan farmers get noticed by NY Times
I'm a big consumer of news, and sometimes I get tired of reading about the same old cadre of high-profile folks: politicians, celebrities, big business types — the "news makers." It's rare to hear about how current events impact normal people; even rarer to hear about the impoverished and voicele
Somalia: Fighting for survival
In my daily field supervision of program activities, I encounter different scenarios about the people we support. Some are strong and challenging, while others are somewhat weakened by life's difficulties.
Indonesia: From gloom to loom
India: Catching up with old friends
I should clarify that before a few weeks ago, I had never met Sonia and Rima. But when we met, I felt like I was catching up with old friends. I knew about the challenges they faced growing up on Assam's tea estates — and their aspirations to own their own successful beauty salon.
Tajikistan: Dress for success
Sitting in a room with four other girls, Gulshan Chorieva holds up a dress that she and the other sewing students have been working on under guidance of the master seamstress.
Tajikistan: Through a Caring Lens
Ethiopia: Partnering with Angelique Kidjo to help Ethiopian girls stay in school
Starting today, there will be more educational opportunities for young women in some of southern Ethiopia's poorest villages.
Ethiopia: Helping Ethiopia’s daughters stay in school
“These days, I can barely sleep because I am so excited with ideas on what to do next," says 38-year-old Felekech Endiris says with a smile. "I’m doing a bigger business. My family has enough to eat and I can afford medicines for my children now.”
Alleviating energy poverty
Energy poverty and community-based energy solutions have been back in the news lately, and have been a focus of Mercy Corps’ programming for the last couple of years.