Water is the source of life — but when not properly managed, it can breed disease, create conflict and destroy communities. Around the world, one in nine people does not have access to the clean water they need — that's nearly 800 million people.
Mercy Corps works to increase access to safe water around the world, whether it's bringing relief during droughts or rebuilding wells in remote villages. Our large-scale water infrastructure projects in Jordan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are forging new delivery routes, reducing waste, and bringing clean water directly to 1.25 million people — and counting — who are affected by conflict in those areas.
To complement our water access programs, we also improve sanitation and help people learn proper hygiene to prevent disease; work with families and farmers to implement conservation techniques; and strengthen communities against flooding.
All stories about Water
Yemen: A witness to distress in beautiful land
Since Mercy Corps began working in Yemen in October 2010, we have kept our main office in the capital city of Sana’a. I see more and more women and young girls begging for food on the streets. Last month, nearly 100 soldiers were killed here by a suicide bomb.
Yemen: Relief and development in the slums of the forgotten
Called akhdam, “the servants,” by their fellow countrymen — and muhamashyn, “the marginalised,” by organizations working to help them — Yemen’s outcasts stand outside of the nation’s already tumultuous social, economic and political life.
Jordan: Loans help families make the most of scarce water
It is predicted that by 2025, Jordan will have completely drained its water resources. Farmers will not be able to grow crops, families will not have enough water to drink, cook or wash with.
Japan: Water partner Xylem recognized for its innovative support
When it comes to many of our biggest initiatives, which can span multiple countries, Mercy Corps partners with companies that want to make a difference. Their funding, and many times their technical expertise, allow us to bring some big changes to people’s lives around the world.
Niger: Maintaining wells as drought takes its toll
In Niger, cycles of drought and hunger are a harsh reality. Here, a family works on a well that Mercy Corps helped them rebuild.
Colombia: Trekking to see flood recovery efforts
I just returned from a trip to Colombia where, instead of sitting behind a computer, I sat in planes, taxis, boats, vans, dugout canoes and on horseback — in one day.
Ethiopia: Rebuilding a community water source
Emergency response program manager Kaja Wislinska speaks to community members who are repairing a pond too damaged to hold water. It is now a working water source for the 400 households in Ada Olaa village.
Nepal: Protecting natural resources
Villagers in southwestern Nepal gather to tell Mercy Corps staff about their needs and how they make use of their surrounding environment — land, plants, water. The work is part of an assessment to figure out how to reduce natural resource-based conflict in the area.
Yemen: Humanitarian needs demand urgent attention
Pakistan: Flood relief brings clean water back to families
After barely recovering from historic floods in 2010, millions of people in Pakistan were hit once again with a heavy monsoon season last fall.