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: Christine: There for Sichuan's Survivors
China: Healing the Future
So much depends on children. They're the pride and joy of their families, as well as eternal hope for a better future. There's perhaps no place in the world where this rings more true than China.
China: Helping Children Recover
When the 7.9-magnitude earthquake rocked Sichuan Province in May, 2008 – causing at least 69,000 deaths and displacing up to 10 million people – Mercy Corps was there to help.
China: Needs Arise from Another Earthquake
I have been back in the United States since Saturday afternoon. As usual, these first few days have been experienced — and felt — through the blurriness of a fifteen-hour time difference between Oregon and China. Jet lag renders everything into vagaries.
China: A Rare Treasure
I think what I'll always remember about distribution day in Yunji is the range of emotions.
China: Literally Beautiful
China: Several Thousand Good Neighbors
To step inside the walls of the Qinjianrenjia displacement camp boggles the mind. To spend time among camp's residents warms the heart.
China: The World's Youngest Principal
When I think about our first day distributing hygiene kits to displaced earthquake survivors, I will most remember the bravery of a 17-year-old school principal.
China: Meeting China's New Homeless