Mercy Corps works almost exclusively in high-risk conflict and transitional environments, countries affected by civil wars, economic and political crises, or natural disasters. These are difficult places to operate, but we believe that transitional environments also offer tremendous opportunities for positive change. We therefore implement peacebuilding programs in some of the world’s toughest places — fragile or critically weak states that are at a high or moderately high risk of instability, including Iraq, Somalia, Central Africa Republic, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Violent conflict takes a terrible toll on developing countries. It destroys infrastructure, disrupts trade, distorts markets, and can reverse decades of development. Conflict-affected nations suffer severe refugee crises and population loss. There are around 40.8 million internally-displaced persons and more than 21.3 million refugees worldwide, most of whom are fleeing from violence. Generations of children have grown up believing that violence is the only way to find a job, to find meaning, or to simply stay alive. These destabilizing elements combine to create ‘conflict traps’ that keep countries in cycles of violence for decades.
Helping communities find ways to break the cycle of violence and promote peaceful change is at the heart of Mercy Corps’ mandate. We believe that — given the right tools, skills, and support — people are eager to understand the complex tensions and challenges they face and address them in a way that promotes peace and development.
We work with communities in three key ways:
1) to prevent conflict by increasing social cohesion and addressing underlying drivers of conflict;
2) to peacefully resolve and manage conflict by building and strengthening leaders and institutions to mitigate tensions and disputes that arise in their communities and regions; and
3) to reduce participation in violence by addressing grievances and providing peaceful alternatives for creating change.
Our work builds on an exceptionally strong historical foundation. Since the late 1990s, Mercy Corps has implemented more than 100 conflict management programs in more than 40 African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Latin American countries, making Mercy Corps a true leader in the field.
All stories about Peace and Conflict
Nigeria: The Economic Costs of Conflict in Nigeria
Decades-long violent conflict in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria between farmers and pastoralists has devastated local communities, drastically reducing both security and economic activity.
Jordan, Syria: Seeking Stability: Evidence on Strategies for Reducing Risk of Conflict in Northern Jordanian Communities Hosting Syrian Refugees
Despite the heightened attention to conflict in Jordan stemming from the Syrian refugee crisis, little evidence exists on which interventions are effective in mitigating the risk of violence and fu
Guatemala: Successes and Setbacks: Mediating Land Conflicts in Rural Guatemala
The majestic, mountainous landscape of rural Guatemala appears idyllic, but combustible tensions permeate the fertile terrain that indigenous farmers hold sacred and depend on for their livelihoods
Nigeria: Nigeria's Critical Moment - Preventing Election Violence
Deep concerns about violence pervade the anticipation of Nigeria's critical 2015 national and state elections.
Afghanistan: Does Youth Employment Build Stability?
A study of our INVEST program yields insights for improving the effectiveness of investments in youth employment and stability interventions in Afghanistan and similar fragile states.
South Sudan: South Sudan, Through Youth’s Eyes
Understanding drivers and incentives for youth violence in the pre-crisis context.
Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe: Why Youth Fight
Whether as victims or perpetrators, youth are often at the center of violent disputes.
Myanmar: Visibility versus Vulnerability
The change taking place in Myanmar has brought new complexities that require an integrated analysis of how economic and political vulnerabilities are tied to instability.
Myanmar: Intercommunal Violence in Myanmar
Myanmar’s continuing economic and political transition, along with a history of complex religious and ethnic disputes, has led to increased intercommunal tensions and violence.
Myanmar: Socio-Economic Analysis of Kayah State in Myanmar
In March - June 2013, a consortium involving Mercy Corps and four other INGO and NGO partners conducted a socio-economic analysis of Kayah State in Myanmar with funding from the European Union.