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
United States: Video: Deconstruction Documentary
Somalia: Shoring Up Riverbanks - and Confidence
Bandarjadid, Somalia — Driving off-road toward this riverside village, there are hints of its past glory: the rusted remains of a tractor, a long-abandoned granary.
United States: Two Years Later, Still Working for Recovery
On behalf of our New Orleans-based team, I want to update you on what's happening here two years after the hurricane's landfall - and on what we're doing to help bring people back home.
Indonesia: Making Way for Tomorrow
United States: Building By Dismantling
Rick Denhart, Mercy Corps' New Orleans-based Director of Gulf Coast Hurricane Recovery, has been in construction - and deconstruction - all his life. He started his vocation as a child apprenticing with his father - a builder - who taught him how to take things apart and redo them.
South Sudan: Rebuilding, Brick by Brick
Renk, Southern Sudan — While walking along the emaciated Nile River at the height of last year's dry season, unemployed banker Diew Ajak encountered a curiously constructed brick.
Sri Lanka: Recovery Amid Conflict
Sri Lanka's Ampara District hasn't had time to recover from the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: even as rebulding began, violent conflict engulfed the area, plunging already-shaken families into further turmoil and uncertainty.
Guatemala: Defusing Crisis
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
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
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.