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
India: Pay Dirt April 10, 2008
Moni Das's village has no name. It's simply referred to as Line 10, Deohall Division, Deohall Tea Estate, Assam. It is a microcosm of life inside Assam's estate fences: anonymous, hidden among acre upon acre of tea bushes and existing solely to serve the needs of the estate.
India: A Different Kind of Teatime April 10, 2008
Dibrugarh is called India's tea city. But for some people, teatime is about hardship and inequality rather than a pause for relaxation.
India: Buzzing with Cosmic Energy April 10, 2008
I sensed, right away, that Rajah Banerjee had something to tell us. It was in the measured way he carried himself, the arch of his eyebrows and the calculating glance he cast across the room. What's more, I immediately got the feeling that he would test me to see what I knew.
India: A Skilled Trade to Last a Lifetime April 10, 2008
The word "manokamana" holds a special place in the hearts of the Nepali people who populate the Himalayan foothills around Darjeeling, India. It signifies one of the culture's most sacred places — a holy site in Nepal — and literally translates as "good wish of the mind."
Zimbabwe: Untrammeled Spirit April 3, 2008
Guatemala: Earning Money and Respect April 3, 2008
Iraq: Tell Congress You Support the Community Action Program in Iraq March 24, 2008
Over the last five years in Iraq, Mercy Corps has undertaken one of the most significant relief operations in our 29-year history.
Ethiopia: Turning Trash into Cash March 14, 2008
As a single mother with a 13-year-old son, Tafessu Jiru doesn't have a lot of kitchen scraps coming from her household. Most everything is put to prudent use.
Kosovo: Six stories from Kosovo February 25, 2008
The population of Kosovo waited more than eight years for final status to be declared. During this time, their lives have been in limbo, jobs have become scarce and dismayed youth have struggled to find hope for their future within Kosovo.
Sudan: Opening Doors in Abyei February 16, 2008
Abyei town, Sudan — Patterned bedsheets keep the mid-afternoon Sahelian sun and the swirling dust out of Theresa Whex's restaurant in Abyei's main market, a maze of mostly stick-and-straw stalls.