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: 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.
Tajikistan: It's lunchtime!
Working out in the field is exhilarating for so many reasons. It’s a chance to see the program in action; to meet with locals and hear their stories; and to take in the stunning landscape that this country offers so effortlessly. Oh, and then there’s lunch.
A man does what he must to provide for his family. But in the small West African nation of Togo, it goes much deeper than that: each man is assigned a name based on the things he does, and is constantly judged by it.
Kosovo: Creating opportunities for Kosovo's youth
Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe, both in terms of its statehood and its demographics. Half of the country’s population is under the age of 25, and many of these young people depart for work abroad or are supported by relatives.
Indonesia: Dishing out healthy street food
This photo was taken at a Mercy Corps-sponsored food cart in north Jakarta, Indonesia. The woman in the photo is the Vice Governor of Jakarta. She was in a neighboring community and heard about the Healthy Street Foods project and got so excited that she stopped by the opening event.
Kyrgyzstan: Leaving a Blooming Legacy
The 2,000 people of Tosor are proud of their little lakeside village. Located at the base of a spectacular mountain range, on the shores of one of the world's largest mountain lakes, Tosor boasts a long history of writers, painters and composers.
Myanmar: Helping Myanmar, one year after the storm
Indonesia: Nineteen: Cahyan, tofu snack seller
Indonesia: Nineteen: Hasanuddin, water seller
Hasanuddin, 44, operates a small food stall and sells water in an illegal settlement under a toll road in Jakarta. He says that he earns "enough to survive."