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
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.
Uganda: Truly, skills for employment and skills for life
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
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
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
Indonesia: Revving the local economy
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
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)
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.