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Mercy Corps - CAR

Bridging the gap from relief to recovery.

Almost 17 million beneficiaries annually.

The field of international relief and development is a crowded one. Portland based Mercy Corps, however, has managed over its 29-year existence to not only maintain a constant trajectory of expanding and deepening impact, but also a commitment to innovation and willingness to experiment that is refreshing for its size. Though ostensibly a humanitarian organization, Mercy Corps’ pioneering commitment to using relief and development programs to strengthen civil society for the long-term has seen the diversification of its high-impact, cost effective activities across a range of sectors.

Reaching almost 17 million people annually in over 107 countries, Mercy Corps’ goal is to help transform places hit by natural disasters, conflict or economic collapse by moving quickly from relief to recovery initiatives – fostering local entrepreneurship, re-building social capital and stimulating markets. Convinced of the value of taking ‘responsible risks’ – backed by rigorous monitoring and evaluation – the organization engages with local communities to identify solutions proven to work in specific contexts and brings these to scale.

Recent innovations have included everything from mobile banking for individuals without bank accounts in Haiti, to establishing a ‘wholesale’ micro-finance lender in Indonesia and teaming with Wal Mart in Guatemala to help rural farmers learn how to supply their products to leading retailers.

(Photo © Mercy Corps)