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
Kyrgyzstan: Building Furniture and a Foundation December 5, 2008
Earlier this year, the sound of saws returned to an abandoned furniture-making plant in the center of Kyzylkia, a once-prosperous industrial town located in the heart of Kyrgyzstan's Ferghana Valley.
Mongolia: Opening drawers November 25, 2008
Tsetserleg, Mongolia — How does traditional Mongolian nomad furniture end up in children's rooms in Amsterdam, more than 4,000 miles away? A combination of craftsmanship and connections, with a little help from Mercy Corps.
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
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