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
Mongolia: Shepherding Tradition November 25, 2008
The title of "Master Herder" is reserved for a select few across Mongolia. It conjures up a distinct image: an aged but still eminently capable man dressed in traditional robes, standing on the vast steppes, exercising an almost mystical control over his livestock.
Mongolia: Faces of the Gobi November 25, 2008
Here are some of the people and landscapes we encountered on a two-week, 1,600 mile journey over Mongolia's deserts, mountains and steppes.
Mongolia: Miracle Growth November 25, 2008
Bulgan soum, Mongolia - This is a story about how political transformation, tourism and tomatoes created an oasis in the southernmost reaches of Mongolia's Gobi Desert. It begins at the end of the country's 70-year-long communist era with a man named Poli.
Mongolia: Preserving Nomadic Life November 25, 2008
Mongolia: A Journey Begins with Two Flat Tires November 25, 2008
A couple dozen miles outside of Mongolia's capital of Ulaanbaatar, the paved road ended and gave way to the Gobi Desert. A few dozen miles after that, we had our first flat tire of the day. I stepped out of the car and found a sun-bleached camel skull at my feet.
Lebanon: Teens Rebuild for the Future November 18, 2008
In 2007 fighting broke out between an Islamist militant organization and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in Nahr al-Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp run by the United Nations in northern Lebanon.
Zimbabwe: Tough Choices November 17, 2008
Naison and his friends are spending the afternoon fishing on the banks of southeastern Zimbabwe's Save River, hoping to catch a trout or an eel to bring home to their families. They are using the mosquito netting from Naison's home as a makeshift fishing net.
Indonesia: Sticking With Rice November 17, 2008
Central African Republic: Feeding a Family November 5, 2008
Every morning, Sophie Gbellet arrives at her open-air market stall to sell bottles of palm oil, homemade peanut butter, onions, mushrooms and caterpillars — a local delicacy in Bouar, one of the largest cities in one of the poorest countries on the planet.
Sudan: Taking the lead in economic recovery October 15, 2008
Upper Nile state in southern Sudan has just emerged from two decades of civil war. Most of the residents of the area have recently returned home after years of being displaced because of the war. Living conditions are difficult and many people are without sources of income or employment.