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
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia: Horn of Africa disaster didn't happen overnight August 23, 2011
Photos and stories from the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa — a region that includes Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia — have brought to light suffering on an almost unimaginable scale.
Zimbabwe: Vocational training helps youths find jobs in Zimbabwe August 18, 2011
Twenty-year-old Nyasha Zulu and 21-year-old Simbarashe Mudara have lived most of their lives in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, 30 kilometers from Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.
Haiti: Mobile wallets help Haitians rebuild August 3, 2011
Families needed food. Small vendors and local economies needed cash. And it turns out the solution to this Catch-22 was right in the hands — or the pockets — of most Haitians.
Indonesia: Kid-friendly food carts take on child malnutrition August 2, 2011
The slums of Jakarta, Indonesia are home to some of the poorest families in Asia. The city — one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with more than 28 million people — has dozens of such places, where thousands of people live cramped in close quarters.
Iraq: Economic development on a personal level August 1, 2011
In a part of the country often forgotten by the central government, southern Iraq has had its share of challenges following years of conflict that began with the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
Georgia: Cash cows: On the ground with Georgia's dairy industry July 29, 2011
My cab driver was yelling something that sounded like "khows, khows!" I hadn't the faintest idea what he was talking about until I saw the spotted figures in the distance and realized he was saying "cows."
Guatemala: Rural micropharmacies offer medicine for all July 28, 2011
Sustainable Community Health Stores is a new way of addressing the rural healthcare problem. It helps local families start small businesses while providing much-needed medicines in underserved communities.
Japan: The journey from donation to voucher to survivor in Japan July 28, 2011
Japan: Re-opening Ofunato's fish market July 17, 2011
The tsunami poured through the Ofunato fish market, leaving the open-plan structure mostly intact but washing away almost everything within it.
Japan: What it looks like coming back to Japan July 14, 2011
Every day that I was away from Japan — while I was eating dinner, watching TV, dancing, laughing with friends, or sleeping on the other side of the world — a small army of police, army, municipal employees and volunteers was at work in tsunami-affected areas.