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
Guatemala: Defusing Crisis July 18, 2007
Olivia's calm smile says a lot about her life today. However, just a few months ago, the situation was a lot different.
North Korea: Seeing for the first time June 13, 2007
For many years, I was privileged to hear firsthand stories of the people of North Korea from my husband, Mercy Corps co-founder Ells Culver.
Indonesia: Cash-for-Work: Beginning the Recovery May 25, 2007
In the aftermath of natural disasters and violent conflict, towns often lay ruined and local economies are in shambles. Although grieving their losses, families are also eager to move beyond tragedy and begin rebuilding their homes and lives.
Indonesia: Rebuilding Peace by Piece May 24, 2007
Hunut village, Maluku, Indonesia - Tjak Tohata was getting used to staying in a barn. For almost eight years, the 62-year-old man, his wife and their five children lived in a small shelter that was formerly to house cows.
Sri Lanka: Community groups helping neighbors March 29, 2007
Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka - Community groups formed to guide village redevelopment in the wake of the tsunami are now playing a central role in Mercy Corps' distributions of cookware, tarps and other relief items to families fleeing their homes in the face of the country's escalating
India: A New Harvest March 5, 2007
Darjeeling tea is one of the world's most enjoyable beverages — but it doesn't come easily to your cup. Tea-growing families in the villages that dot Darjeeling's hillsides work hard just to make ends meet.
Colombia: Gloria and Don Guillermo: A Way Forward March 5, 2007
Bogotá, Colombia — When the violence swept through the village of Libano in 2001, Gloria Arieza was in no shape to leave. She had a one-year-old child and a second in her belly. Still, she and her partner, Don Guillermo, had no choice but to flee.
Colombia: Ciro: Finishing Time March 5, 2007
Colombia: Crossing the Bridge March 5, 2007
Cartagena, Colombia — White-sand beaches and teal Caribbean waters draw thousands of sun worshippers to the nearby Islas de Rosario, but no tourists have ever stepped foot in the neighborhood locals call "Isla de Leon."
Tajikistan: Roots of Change February 7, 2007
Even at the venerable age of 54, Sangimoh Safarova doesn't shy away from hard physical labor. Hoe in hand, this spry woman eagerly scrapes eastern Tajikistan's rocky soil to dig up the last of her bumper potato crop.