Our Mission

Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Our core values

  • We believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of human life.

  • We are awed by human resilience, and believe in the ability of all people to thrive, not just exist.

  • We believe that all people have the right to live in peaceful communities and participate fully in the decisions that affect their lives.

  • We value stewardship of the earth’s health, pledging to accountably and efficiently preserve and manage its resources.

  • We believe that it is our duty to be effective stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us.

Our philosophy

We believe secure, productive and just societies emerge when the private, public, and civil society sectors are able to interact with accountability, inclusive participation and mechanisms for peaceful change. This theory is illustrated in our Vision for Change ▸

To see how this is articulated for the current fiscal year in our Strategic Roadmap, please contact Anna Young.

Our accountability to stakeholders

  • As an organization and as individuals, we act ethically.

  • We treat all people with respect.

  • We are open and transparent about the work we do and how we do it.

  • Our stakeholders participate in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our work.

  • We are effective stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us and the natural environment in which we live.

  • We commit to achieving demonstrable impact for our stakeholders, using their feedback to innovate, learn and improve.

Mercy Corps stakeholders are people or organizations affected by Mercy Corps’ decisions and actions.

Our primary stakeholders are the people and communities we serve.

Other stakeholders include: donors, partners, governments, Mercy Corps team members, and Mercy Corps board members.

We believe

  • Communities are the best agents of their own change.

  • Local markets are the best engines of sustainable recovery.

  • Success is built on the foundation of good governance.

Our strategy for change

  • Focus on places in transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval or economic collapse present opportunities to challenge the status quo and build more secure, productive and just communities.

  • Provide emergency relief in times of crisis, then move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks.

  • Promote sustainable change by supporting initiatives that are community-led, market-driven and promote good governance.

  • Seek innovation that creates major breakthroughs against poverty and lasting change in the places we work.

  • We have been working in Nigeria since 2012. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria's development — and therefore the region's stability. Roughly 70 percent of the country lives in poverty, and in many areas as many as 80 percent of women are illiterate.

  • The growing threat from Boko Haram only exacerbates significant ethnic and religious violence that stems from income inequality and conflict over diminishing natural resources. Learn more about the hunger crisis in the Lake Chad region ▸

  • Many areas in northeast Nigeria are at risk of famine and at least 55,000 people are already experiencing famine-like conditions in Borno State, Nigeria alone. 5.1 million people are in urgent need of food assistance. Conflict provoked by Boko Haram has displaced approximately 1.6 million people, and farmers who have been displaced are unable to return to their homes to plant crops.

  • Low crop yields and high staple food prices, combined with political unrest and chronic underdevelopment, means that millions of people will continue to have urgent food needs. Get the quick facts about famine ▸

  • It's critical that we help communities address tensions and prevent marginalized populations from being exploited and participating in destructive behaviors. At the same time, we respond to immediate humanitarian needs of households affected by conflict through emergency assistance. We particularly focus on supporting young women, so they can participate in and contribute equally to their country in positive ways.

Our work

  • Conflict & Governance: Working to reduce tension between pastoralists and farmers, as well as different religious groups, to promote local livelihoods and economic growth.

  • Children & Youth: Implementing adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment across the country to create safe spaces and build life and business skills, then link young people to job or business opportunities that enable them to earn an independent income.

  • Economic opportunity: Helping families access financial services, like loans, and job skills to strengthen their ability to make informed economic decisions within their households.

  • Emergency Response: Meeting the urgent needs of households affected by the conflict by providing cash assistance, food vouchers, water and shelter, while connecting them to income opportunities that help create long-term and long-lasting solutions.

















Zulyatu, 16, and her siblings rarely get three meals a day. They are among millions of Nigerians struggling with hunger during Boko Haram’s insurgency. Photo: Tom Saater for Mercy Corps

The lifesaving power of cash


Zulyatu and her siblings are three of the nearly 2 million Nigerians facing a new crisis of hunger after being displaced by Boko Haram. She says they never have three meals a day.

Zulyatu shops for food in Biu’s main market using a Mercy Corps voucher. Photo: Tom Saater for Mercy Corps

Cash helps markets work


To newcomers, Biu’s main market is crowded and chaotic, with stalls and shops selling all kinds of food. Zulyatu wound her way through alleys looking for a particular shop to buy food for her family.

The liveliness of this market is one of the reasons Mercy Corps is using cash to help people here.

A hunger emergency in Nigeria

An estimated 250,000 children are severely malnourished in Borno state alone. Nearly 50,000 kids are on the verge of starvation. As a global organization delivering aid in Nigeria, Mercy Corps is among the first responders to gain access to parts of south Borno state as security has begun to improve there.

Photo Gallery from Mercy Corps Nigeria Website

More than 4.4 million people are in urgent need of food in northeast Nigeria.

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Hundreds gathered in Biu for Mercy Corps' first distribution of vouchers to buy urgent supplies.

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Mariam and her children escaped Boko Haram a few months ago, only to be faced with a new crisis: hunger. Mercy Corps is providing families like theirs with cash to buy food, so they can stay healthy until they're able to return home and rebuild their lives. Photo: Tom Saater for Mercy Corps

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More than 4.4 million people are in urgent need of food in northeast Nigeria.

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