Food security and nutrition

Syrian granddaughter and grandfather eating watermelon

Despite recent progress in reducing global hunger, 821 million people remain undernourished. At least 528 million of them live in countries where Mercy Corps works.

Food insecurity — and the malnutrition that often comes with it — causes poor physical and cognitive development, increases vulnerability to disease, limits productivity over a lifetime, and impedes economic development. A lack of nutritious food wreaks havoc on families and communities, causing a lifetime of challenges.

  • 204k

    Yemenis we're providing with food assistance
  • 8,500

    Mali refugees we gave cash to buy food in 2017
  • 25k

    meals we delivered to Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria
  • 2k

    nutrition sessions we provided in Niger in 2017


We work with communities, local organizations and authorities to identify the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition. We use this knowledge to develop comprehensive and inclusive programming aimed at achieving resilient food security and improving nutrition.

We don’t just improve people’s access to nutritious food — we also address the underlying issues that keep people from accessing it and making healthy use of it in the first place. 

When we include food security and nutrition as part of our programming, whether it’s dealing with conflict, climate change, or another issue, we strengthen the foundation of well-being upon which people can build secure, productive and just communities.

For more technical details on our food security and nutrition programs, please download our approach document.