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
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.
India: A Wellspring of Opportunity January 18, 2007
Sava Gaon, India — The wells under the village's green hillsides are losing water by the day. A massive hydroelectric project is draining the water from under Sava Gaon and its surrounding villages to supply a nearby dam, much to the outrage of local citizens.
Kyrgyzstan: Aziz: Welding His Way to Work January 18, 2007
Afghanistan: Shamsia: Profile of a Borrower January 3, 2007
My name is Shamsia. I am 31 years old and am from Kabul. I run a school for women where they learn how to sew, embroider, make jewelry, produce ‘chapans' (a traditional Afghan costume) and weave.
Afghanistan: Life in Shashtepa Takes a Turn For The Better January 3, 2007
Afghanistan: A Story of Glitter and Plastic Flowers January 3, 2007
A Stitch in Time November 30, 2006
Brus, Serbia - Many Serbs say that, the further south you travel in their country, the sadder the situation grows. But you wouldn't know that from meeting Nevenka Mihalovic.
South Sudan: Generating Market Opportunities November 10, 2006
Agok, southern Sudan — Before April of this year, whatever hustle and bustle existed in this lightly populated farming town typically ceased after sunset.
Kyrgyzstan: Storing Up Value October 19, 2006
Tosor, Kyrgyzstan — Apples may be a fall fruit, but growers here think of them as a winter moneymaker.