China is rapidly emerging as a leading economic power and an important player in the humanitarian and development space.
While China’s growing economy has created new opportunities for many, the widening gap between rich and poor has created new social and economic challenges, specifically for vulnerable people in rural areas and migrant youth in urban areas who have yet to see the benefits of the nation’s economic growth.
Access to stable livelihoods and adequate services remains a serious challenge, and addressing social disparities is a high priority. China is prone to natural disasters and experiences frequent earthquakes, landslides, droughts and floods. The impacts of climate change are increasing the severity of these hazards. Chinese civil society aims to create improved social services, but lacks capacity to meet the needs of the population.
Today, Mercy Corps is focused on working with Chinese civil-society and private-sector partners to positively impact communities in China and around the globe. Our ongoing partnership with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation has greatly increased local humanitarian and development capacity.
While Mercy Corps’ work in China is solely through partnership with local actors, we have a long history of direct program implementation in the country. For 16 years, Mercy Corps worked in China to meet urgent needs after disaster and to help communities build back stronger.
- Emergency response: Following natural disasters such as the 2008 Wenchuan, 2010 Yushu and 2013 Ya’an and 2014 Yunnan earthquakes:
- Delivered critical supplies such as non-food items and hygiene kits.
- Assisted with rebuilding infrastructure and worked with communities to reduce the risk and impact of future disasters.
- Trained community members to identify children who experience trauma after disaster and provide curriculum to help young people recover.
- Agricultural market development: Provided services to boost agricultural productivity. Developed e-commerce and farming cooperatives to grow the incomes of smallholder farmers through community-led, market-driven solutions. Worked with financial service providers to increase smallholder farmers’ access to credit, payments and savings.
- Young people & women: Empowered female and youth migrant workers by teaching job and life skills, financial and business literacy and health education. Encouraged employers to invest in the health and well-being of their female workers.
China: All-China Youth Federation Delegation to Oregon, June 2010
Mercy Corps has worked with the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) to develop the Social Innovator Leadership Program.
China: Welcoming Mercy Corps' newest friends
While Mercy Corps works in dozens of far-flung locations across the world, we are proud to call the state of Oregon and the city of Portland home. It’s the place that nurtured the culture of innovation, collaboration, and optimism (with a touch of scrappiness) that we prize to this day.
China: Young earthquake survivors in Qinghai start to tell their story
Sometimes it’s the intangibles that can make all the difference in healing after a disaster.
China: Not one missed
A coupon is a simple piece of paper, but a popular way for customers to exchange something in return for a product or service. Here in Yushu, coupons are helping us a lot in our work by reducing the risk of unfair distribution.
China: Two thousand hygiene kits unloaded in Yushu
The truck full of 2,000 hygiene kits — covered with dust and mud — at last arrived in Yushu on the evening of April 26. Their journey from Chengdu, the capital of neighboring Sichuan Province, totaled 1,200 kilometers and 50 hours.
China: Hope and hygiene kits for China’s Qinghai quake zone
Hope is the word that comes to mind now when I see Yushu County, the heaviest hit area from the April 14th tremor in Qinghai Province.
China: Tears in Yushu – Chinese mourn one week after the earthquake
At 10:00 a.m. on April 21st, just as the snow began to fall, Yushu County was crying.
China: Helping local organizations respond as best they can
Yushu County is normally a picturesque area, located in the eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, about 3,800 meters above sea level. However, it is also one of China’s nationally recognized “poverty counties,” and the horrific earthquake last week almost totally destroyed this beautiful little corner of the Tibetan region.
China: Struggles in Qinghai — notes from the earthquake zone
Today is the fourth day since the devastating 7.1 Qinghai Earthquake took so many lives, livelihoods and homes. I was anxious to get out to Qinghai.
China: Helping inform policy in China
Tomorrow, I will be representing Mercy Corps China at the National Post-disaster Psychosocial Response Plan Review Seminar, organized by School of Social Development and Public Policy (SSDPP) at Beijing Normal University.