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
Nepal: Testing the future of emergency assistance
We’ve been part of the mobile money revolution for some time, and now our latest efforts are being tested in Nepal — one of the poorest countries in the world.
West Bank and Gaza: Gaza Sky Geeks takes tech support to the next level
In the isolated Gaza Strip, economic instability is a constant. But in the months after November's conflict, our work with tech-savvy Palestinian youth has taken a new spin.
Indonesia: Fighting poverty in the Spice Islands
Amid the tropical beauty of Indonesia's Maluku islands some families are living on less than 36 cents a day. We're helping spice farmers turn the abundance all around them into profit.
Mobile phones bring land ownership to indigenous farmers
How new technology is helping rural communities achieve greater equality.
Ethiopia: Behind the camera: Eating from the same table
Kuye's mother, Taiko, is feisty and determined. It's no surprise she's doing everything she can to keep her daughter in school.
Japan: Reflections on two years supporting tsunami-hit communities
The 200 local small businesses we’ve reached are collectively the region’s largest employer. They also lie at the center of community life, and are a critical part of the recovery for everyone here.
Japan: Update: Two years since the tsunami
Much has changed in Japan in the past two years, yet much has painfully stayed the same in the tsunami zone. Mercy Corps assisted in the emergent aftermath of the disaster, and has continued to provide support for local small merchants, helping to revive the badly struggling local economies.
Yemen: Fetching water for families in Taiz
An increased supply and new distribution programs help secure clean water — and provide jobs in Yemen's poorest communities.
Central African Republic, Timor-Leste: Employees engaged to drive strategic community investment
Western Union's new Innovation Awards ask employees to choose which Mercy Corps initiatives to invest in. The first two awards are funding economic development programs in the Central African Republic and Timor-Leste.
Haiti: What does resilience look like?
Discussions at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting this week will focus on how to better prepare for and minimize disasters of the future. In Haiti, we've been investing in communities to do just that.