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
Lebanon: New Products, New Life September 23, 2002
Iktimal el Shaweesh lives with her family of 17 in a two-story, seven-room house in southern Lebanon. She married her husband Khaled, 15 years her senior and a widower with 5 kids, in order not to remain single. They have five kids of their own: three daughters and two sons.
Indonesia: Microfinance for the Poor August 28, 2002
Microfinance is considered to be one of the most effective tools to combat poverty, but the question that one needs to ask is: "Do poor people get access to financial services through microfinance?"
A Breath of New Life August 8, 2002
Afghanistan: Harvesting A New Generation of Leaders July 18, 2002
Afghanistan: Rebuilding Opportunity July 11, 2002
It was supposed to be 18 kilometers of life, flowing through rural villages and farms as steady as a summer breeze. It would be a welcome elixir that would keep families and livestock healthy, while allowing an impoverished region to claw its way to economic prosperity.
Afghanistan: Cash-for-Work July 11, 2002
In Uruzgan, a destitute province in southern Afghanistan, the local people define "rich" as "possessing a two-months supply of food." The worst drought in living memory and 22 years of ongoing war has left this region in ruins.
Kosovo: Finding common ground in Kosovo June 19, 2002
Caring for bees is more than just a job or a hobby to Metush Maxuti. It is his passion. Maxuti, a beekeeper and head of The Beekeepers Association in Cernica, Kosovo, believes that people living in Kosovo can learn an important lesson from the insects he loves.
Mongolia: World Bank President Praises Mongolia Bank May 28, 2002
Indonesia: From Rags to Riches January 7, 2002
An Indonesian organization in Jampang Bogor, West Java has found a unique way to earn extra income and thanks in part to a small grant from Mercy Corps what started out as a hobby has turned into a small business.
Southern Serbia Program Making an Immediate Impact January 7, 2002
From bakeries to bee associations, one of Mercy Corps’ newest programs is providing a needed stimulus to economically depressed communities and small businesses in southern Serbia.