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
Kosovo: Six stories from Kosovo
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
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.
Kosovo: Ethnic minority families return home
The Kosovo conflict, which culminated with the NATO bombing in 1999, shocked the world, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
South Sudan: A Lodge 'Bigger Than The Hilton'
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.