Annual Impact Summary: Forging a Future for All

Syrian men unload goods from a truck.
After a massive earthquake struck Northwest Syria in February of 2023, Mercy Corps staff delivered emergency kits and supplies to families already displaced by the ongoing civil war.

Over the last several years, our global community has seen a sharp rise in violent conflict. An estimated 117.2 million people around the world—including families in Gaza and Ukraine—have been forced to flee their homes due to instability, persecution, and human rights violations. This is the highest number on record.

Our shared determination as a community of humanitarians is what helps us to forge a new path forward. With the collaboration of our partners and generous support of people like you, Mercy Corps is working to expand our impact around the globe, helping millions of people to cope during crisis, adapt to climate change, and cultivate new possibility for the future.

With help from our supporters, partners, and communities we work with, Mercy Corps’ programming has reached 30 million people across the world in the last year:

  • 8.3m

    people with access to clean water and hygiene supplies
  • 15.8m

    people with access to safe and nutritious food
  • 13m

    people with opportunities to grow and sustain their incomes
  • 13.3m

    people with programs to build peace and good governance

While working alongside communities to meet people’s most urgent needs amid crisis and disaster, we are also focused on developing and applying solutions that help communities adapt to evolving challenges and grow lasting strength for generations to come.

Charting a brighter course for the future, our team is providing support to young people, women, people who have been displaced, and other marginalized groups. With support and access to resources, information, and opportunities, they are reshaping their communities as places where everyone can flourish. And people like you are supporting their visions through your partnership with Mercy Corps. Thank you for helping to build a better world for all of us to share.

I hope you are as proud as I am of what we’ve accomplished together in 2023, and that you continue to support us in the year ahead. Together, we can provide access to resources for families in crisis who, through their courage and commitment, are overcoming adversity and transforming their communities for good.

Tjada D’Oyen McKenna
Chief Executive Officer

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How we cultivate possibility

Last year was marked by unrelenting conflict and crisis, and yet—thanks to people like you—we reached more than 30 million people with support. We know a vibrant future depends on what we do now. By increasing access to clean water, nutritious food, new opportunities, and peaceful tomorrows, we are building a future where everyone can flourish.

Explore the slideshow below to learn about some of the past year’s accomplishments made by our team, partners, and the communities we serve. Together, we are helping people across the globe cope amid crisis, adapt to new challenges, and ultimately thrive into the future.

In Kenya, Mahada (left) and other farmers apply their training from Mercy Corps to help adapt to crises like the recent devastating drought.
Community members in Indonesia are partnering with Mercy Corps to help adapt their businesses, homes, and villages to withstand ongoing climate challenges like flooding and erosion.
In South Sudan, where erratic weather patterns are driven by climate change, Mercy Corps is working with farmers as they improve their ability to recover from climate threats.
With cash assistance from our team in Ukraine, Volodymyr (right) was able to purchase the equipment he needed to reduce costs, maintain quality craftsmanship, and hire displaced community members.
In Pakistan, four brothers hug their family’s growing herd of goats. After flooding destroyed everything they had, their family was able to buy a pregnant goat with cash assistance from Mercy Corps.


Relief during conflict

The violence that has erupted across the globe has been devastating. Countless communities decimated. Thousands upon thousands of lives lost. And millions of people forced to flee their homes to find safety. The number of people who have been displaced from their homes has now risen to alarming new levels, increasing 8% since 2022.

Forced from their home by conflict, Olena and her children moved to a shelter run by Perspectyva—a local Ukrainian partner of Mercy Corps.

Since 2022, more than 6.4 million people in Ukraine have fled to find safety in other countries—with 3.7 million more people displaced within its borders. Through 2023, our team has partnered with organizations in and around Ukraine, helping to provide shelter, urgent cash assistance, business grants, food, hygiene kits, and information services. With this support, people like Olena are better able to provide for their families through dire circumstances.

The consequences of conflict often extend beyond the immediate needs—it threatens the resilience that communities have built. After clashes broke out in Sudan last year, the number of people facing severe hunger was pushed to 18 million in the country. Our team quickly responded with relief while continuing our work with farmers living outside conflict zones to ensure critical harvests would not be disrupted.

In Gaza, ongoing violence in response to Hamas attacks against Israeli civilians has prevented humanitarian organizations from reaching millions of people with critical lifesaving relief and sustained support. We know how Mercy Corps shows up in this moment may help shape what comes next, and we have written op-eds and united with other relief organizations to release joint statements advocating for the need of a sustained ceasefire to ensure the safety of civilians in Palestine—as well as humanitarians delivering aid. And we continue to use our voice, partnerships, ingenuity, and experience to promote peace and deliver whatever assistance we can to support families across Gaza to cope through this catastrophe.

Join us in building a brighter future.
Two team members wearing safety vests package goods in boxes labeled with the mercy corps logo.

Support in the wake of disaster

Over the last year, our team also responded to a surge of disasters around the world—many of which were intensified by climate change. In the Horn of Africa, our team connected communities emerging from the region’s worst drought in decades with clean water, emergency cash assistance for food and other necessities, and opportunities for farmers and herders to sell their harvests and goods. In Pakistan, where historic flooding swept across a third of the country in 2022, we continued to connect communities with clean water and cash assistance. And our team in Indonesia provided support to fishing communities displaced by rising sea levels as they relocated and learned new ways to adapt to climate threats in the region.

When massive earthquakes leveled communities and infrastructure in Northwest Syria in February and Afghanistan in October, Mercy Corps worked to rapidly respond with relief. In Syria, where ongoing conflict threatens the path to recovery, we have been dedicated to supporting communities in repairing and rehabilitating shelters, water networks, bakeries, schools, and hospitals as well as delivering training and cash grants for small businesses so people can continue to provide for their families. In Afghanistan, Mercy Corps activated our response within hours to deliver emergency water, hygiene supplies, and emergency cash assistance to more than 14,000 people.

Ethiopian woman smiles with hands clasped.
In Ethiopia, Eysa is a shopkeeper and pastoralist. After her home was swept away by a flood two years ago, she is rebuilding her life with emergency cash assistance from Mercy Corps.

In communities affected by both conflict and climate-driven flooding in the Afar region of Ethiopia, our team has been providing people like Eysa continued support with improved access to clean water, cash distribution, and shelter, while helping to form local committees to mitigate and prevent flooding in the future. By helping communities meet their most immediate needs and build long-term strength, we’re helping build greater resilience for tomorrow.

Tools for adapting to climate challenges

Mercy Corps is working with communities on improving access to the resources needed to take action before disasters strike. Through partnership, we’re designing, implementing, and refining innovative solutions that help the communities least responsible for climate change as they prepare for inevitable future climate emergencies and build lasting strength.

From new farming techniques to transformational digital tools, we are developing a range of solutions alongside climate-affected communities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the steep slopes of South Kivu are prone to erosion. Our team is working with smallholder farmers to stabilize the top-soil and boost fertility, which has dramatically improved harvests and community resilience against climate threats.

Farmers sitting together at a workshop.
With Mercy Corps’ climate data app, Guatemalan farmers like Zoila are better equipped to take on the challenges of climate change and improve their harvests.

In rural Guatemala, farmers are expanding and diversifying the local economy with help from our team. Through agricultural and business trainings—as well as Mercy Corps’ climate information app—farmers like Zoila are better able to adapt to climate challenges, plan their harvests, and grow their financial futures.

Our team in Guatemala is also partnering with a trusted digital financial services provider on a mobile app to help communities recover quickly after climate emergencies. Together, we developed a cash distribution service that shares severe weather forecasts and encourages friends, family, and donors to send cash assistance to local communities before disasters hit. With this support, people are better able to prepare themselves, their livelihoods, and their communities so their recoveries are faster and less expensive.

Connection to opportunity

While the past year has been largely defined by catastrophe, Mercy Corps is not only helping people meet their most urgent needs—we’re connecting people, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who have been marginalized with training, resources, improved tools, and new markets. This type of support helps individuals unlock possibility in their own lives, then pass it on to strengthen their families and communities for generations.

Man displays lebanese bread he has baked.
Working with Mercy Corps, Mario is connecting with local farmers and expanding his bakery to provide healthier food options within his community.

The threat of economic collapse has hung over the people of Lebanon for the past three years. Nearly 80% of people live below the poverty line and struggle with hunger. With the grants and connections to local farmers that our team provides, businesses like Mario’s are able to expand their operations, boost the economy, create job opportunities, and supply their communities with nutritious food.

For women in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, traditional gender roles block the path to building the life they envision for themselves. But young women are sparking real change, training with Mercy Corps to develop skills like carpentry, hotel management, fashion and design, makeup, hairdressing, and graphic design. After completing our programs, these young women receive grants to launch their own businesses and reshape their communities.

Women in coffee-growing communities in the Cauca Department of Colombia are teaming up to improve their local economies. Working with Mercy Corps, 1,800 women created a local coffee cooperative that has improved working conditions, participation in formal labor markets, and the engagement of women in forming local policies. Our team also provided training on sustainable agricultural and small business management, helping to boost incomes and ensure these meaningful changes last.


The path to a flourishing future

We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish when we come together as a global community of humanitarians. And looking ahead, we are committed to continuing to cultivate the ideas, tools, and partnerships that power possibility and create a more vibrant future. Our work to increase access to clean water, nutritious food, better opportunities, and lasting peace will only grow more efficient and effective, building upon what works to deepen our impact.

A project officer for mercy corps in the yumbe district, talks to a south sudanese refugee and participant in the dreams program.
John, a project officer for Mercy Corps in Uganda, talks to Juan Betty, a refugee from South Sudan. With help from the DREAMS program, she started a business with two other women and is now better able to support her family’s needs.

One example of this is the DREAMS program, a recipient of Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Award. We began this work in Uganda in 2022, and we have recently expanded DREAMS to reach more refugee communities in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Together with our partner Village Enterprise, 340,000 people are set to transform their lives by developing their skills, resources, and market connections to start sustainable businesses and grow prosperity within their communities.

Bold action like this—and in all of our programs—wouldn’t be possible without the collective efforts of our donors, partners, and the communities we serve. Thank you. Together, we are providing critical relief during emergencies, growing solutions to adapt to climate change, and forging a brighter future for all.

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