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
China: Planting Day
For many families throughout the world, the spring days when family gardens are planted are a cherished annual tradition. As seeds are sown, loved ones take time to talk, laugh and share thoughts. With any luck, the food grown in the family plot will nourish them later that year.
China: Perfect Harmony Family
China: Both Ends of the Long Road
It is a long road between southwestern China’s myriad green hillocks and the congested outskirts of the country’s teeming cities.
Sudan: New Skills for Asha
By looking at 25-year-old Asha, you could never tell that she has been through so much in her young life.
Indonesia: Aceh: Rising from War and Disaster
The Indian Ocean tsunami quite literally shook the world. The magnitude 9.3 earthquake that spawned its catastrophic waves was the second most powerful on record. The waves traveled with such force that, seven hours after the earthquake, they killed almost 300 people on Somalia's coast.
Indonesia: The Smell of Success
Here in the small village of Nusa, hard hit by the tsunami that devastated Indonesia's Aceh province in late 2004, there is a new smell wafting over the modest wood houses along village's dirt streets: it is the smell of fresh baked bread.
Indonesia: Regaining Independence
Indonesia: Empowerment Through Gardening
The women of Mirik Lamreudup village are not only winning awards for their organic agriculture, but sharing their newfound success with other women in the area. Most of them are survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami. All of them have made great strides in the last three years.
Indonesia: Annisah: An Acehnese Woman's Spirit
“I will do anything to increase my family’s income as long as it’s legal,” said Annisah, a 30-year-old woman who is part of Mercy Corps' Aceh Recovery Program. But her words sound more like purpose than desperation. Since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, she's known plenty of the latter.
Nepal: The Last Girl In School
As school began again this year, Anita Chaudhary was prepared to spend back-to-school day as she had for the last few years: at home. She was certain that, once again, she'd watch from the doorway of her family's tiny house as dozens of neighbor children passed by on their way to class.