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
Afghanistan: Hot as an anvil in Afghanistan
On previous visits to Afghanistan I have traveled to our programs in the southern provinces in Helmand and Kandahar, where Mercy Corps has operated for more than 20 years, as well as those in the north.
Indonesia: More happiness and laughter
Indonesia: Today is sweet
When we were flying in over the blue sea waves lapping the shores of Banda Aceh earlier today, I thought, “This is where it happened.” I imagined the water pulling back from the shore with a horrific sucking sound before the sea hurled itself miles ashore.
Tajikistan: Lord of the bees
Beekeeping is an extremely valued activity in many areas of the world, and honey enjoys a nearly mythological reputation in many cultures. It should – promises weren’t made about a land of milk and honey for nothing.
Afghanistan: Well worth the effort
For most of us, putting a meal on the table involves a trip to the store to purchase food and some time in the kitchen to prepare it.
Niger: Multiplying their bounty
Four years ago, a widespread food crisis in the West African nation of Niger threatened the lives of nearly 3.5 million people in more than 3,800 villages.
Tajikistan: What would you do for an interview?
Amy promised me pancakes if I wrote a blog entry, and I’ve accepted her terms.
Afghanistan: Renewing a family’s dream of land
Kosovo: More than run-of-the-mill progress
The village of Milosheva is a pastoral community of 10,000 residents in the heart of central Kosovo's agricultural lands. It is a typical Kosovo village: still recovering from the conflict of 1999, with high unemployment and few income-earning opportunities for residents.
The multiplier effect of wine
I have to admit, one of my favorite field visits involved moderate intoxication, plates of sausage and gales of hearty laughter.