Mercy Corps International is a US-based humanitarian organization that seeks to eliminate poverty and promote democracy in transitional or disadvantaged countries. The organization focuses primarily on providing emergency relief services in areas affected by natural disaster or war, and promoting community development and the growth of civil society. Mercy Corps currently operates programs twenty-two countries around the globe. The Balkans program operates in Bosnia, Macedonia, and Yugoslavia (including Kosovo and Montenegro). The Central and South Asia program covers Afghanistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. In the Middle East and Caucasus region Mercy Corps is active in Azerbaijan, Jordan, Lebanon, and the West Bank/Gaza. African programs operate in Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, and Sudan. In Latin America, Mercy Corps operates in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. East Asian programs cover North Korea and the Philippines.
The group has disbursed over $7 million in development funds to Central Asia since 1992. The focus of the Central Asian program has been:
- Food Security:
Goods and commodities donated by the US Department of Agriculture are monetized by Mercy Corps to provide small loans for local private farmers. In 1997, it received a USAID grant of 2,000 metric tons of butter oil to sell in Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Sales allowed for the realization of agriculture, business development, health care, and democracy-building projects in these countries. Food-for-work programs also help improve local infrastructure.
- Microenterprise programs.
The Central Asian American Enterprise Fund (CAAEF) has provided Mercy Corps with funding to provide $1.5 million in credit to small- and medium-sized businesses in Kazakstan. Western business practices, international accounting standards, and free market concepts have also been introduced with CAAEF's help. This program is currently being expanded into neighboring Kyrgyzstan.
- Strengthening local organizations.
Tajikistan: Since 1995, Mercy Corps has worked to transform struggling local organizations helping the disabled into dynamic organizations providing food, health care, and social assistance to 8,000 disabled people. The Center for Labor Rehabilitation of Invalides ("Dilsuz") is now a Mercy Corps partner agency.
Since 1993, Mercy Corps Balkans program has helped rebuild communities destroyed by armed conflict and find alternatives to ethnic violence. The programs goals and highlights include:
- Metting the survival needs of war-affected populations.
Kosovo: Since 1993, Mercy Corps has provided food, medicine, winter clothing and heating stoves to 322,000 people. $1.8 million of emergency food were provided to needy families in 1997 alone. Other assistance included helping people grow vegetables to ease the food crisis, training community health care workers, and establishing emergency room services at the Pristina Polyclinic.
- Rebuilding communities so refugees can return home.
Bosnia: 1,500 houses, 70 rural water supply systems, and 35 schools and public buildings were rebuilt with Mercy Corps' help. The organization also instituted rehabilitation programs for returning refugees to find strategies to reintegrate families into the economy.
- Promoting the values and practices of a healthy civil society.
Mercy Corps trains local leaders and its own workers in the principles and practices of problem solving and peaceful change. Project teams incorporate these values into their work, integrating workers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds in job of rebuilding what war has damaged.
Mercy Corps has only been active in Azerbaijan for a little over a year, but is already USAID's primary partner in the area. In 1997, USAID awarded the organization a $17 million umbrella grant, and Mercy Corps will award $13.6 million in subgrants to other international agencies to provide shelter, health care, food and economic assistance to displaced persons. Mercy Corps is also an important colleague of the Unitied Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). HAYAT is a local Mercy Corps partner organization.
United States Offices:
Washington, DC office:
1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW, #715
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 463-7383
Fax: (202) 463-7322
Washington State office:
10900 NE 8th Street, #900
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: (425) 462-5710
Fax: (425) 462-5712
8 Gulu Guliyev (aka Mendelev), Apt. #10
Baku, Azerbaijan 370007
Phone 994-12-95-80-66 or 97-30-52
Suleyman Rustam Street, 37/V
Baku, Azerbaijan, 370007
Phone (994 -12) 40-02-41 or 41-10-62 or 41-10-63 or 41-10-64
Fax (994 -12) 41-10-65
Husinskih Rudara b.b.
Phone (387-75) 250-562
Phone/Fax (387-75) 250-561 or 222-420
Phone/Fax (387-88) 560-251
Phone/Fax (387-88) 560-323
Kosevsko Brdo 25
71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Phone (387-71) 666-516 or 650-739
Fax (387-71) 666-518
Phone/Fax (385-21) 331 277
Prote Mateje Nenadovica 33
76000 Brcko, Republica Srpska
Phone (381-76) 204-907
Fax (381-76) 204-0907 or 205-175
KOSOVO and MACEDONIA
Nikola Tesla #11
91000 Skopje, Macedonia
Phone (389-91) 363-474 or 361-805
Fax (389-91) 362-657
Cell Phone (389-70) 228-277
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (MCI account)
472 Seyfullina Street
480012-83, Almaty, Kazakstan
Contact: Thomas Hensleigh, Regional Director
99 Toktogul St. Apt. 1
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 720396
Phone (996-3312) 66-21-75 or 66-37-49
Fax (996-3312) 66-37-49 or 22-51-37
333 Lenin Street
Osh, Kyrgyzstan 714000
Phone 7(33222) 2-12-34
Fax 7(33222) 2-68-70
3rd Proezd Rudaki Ave. 26
Phone (7-3772) 21-08-60 or 27-61-13 or 21-08-79
Fax (7-3772) 21-08-64
Building 6, Apartment 9
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 700052
Phone (73712) 34-09-56 or 34-22-00 or 34-22-10
Fax (73712) 34-33-81
A print version of much of the information contained in this Central Asian Third Sector Organizations section can be found in Civil Society in Central Asia (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999).
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Last updated: November 1998