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: 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.
Jordan: Empowering Women in Their Communities September 16, 2008
Ajloun is a district in northern Jordan. A large part of the population of the area is educated. Even so, there are very few job opportunities in Ajloun, especially for women.
Indonesia: A new path to the school and market September 4, 2008
Elpido Soplantila, Public Affairs officer for Mercy Corps in Maluku, Indonesia, reports on how the construction of a new concrete path is improving villagers access to area schools and markets.
Georgia: Behind the lines September 4, 2008
Nearly a month after hostilities erupted that forced almost 160,000 people from their homes, thousands of Georgian families are still displaced. Most of them cannot return to their houses — or even their villages — because of the wreckage, military positions and ethnic tensions.
Indonesia: Healthy places, prosperous people September 4, 2008
Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is expected to become East Asia's largest metropolitan region by 2015.