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
Indonesia: Rebuilding Peace by Piece
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
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
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
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
Colombia: Crossing the Bridge
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
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
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
Afghanistan: Shamsia: Profile of a Borrower
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.