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USAID Assistance in Afghanistan

Nearly thirty years of war and violence had devastated Afghanistan’s political structure and left its economic foundation in ruins.  In 2001, when the Taliban were forced out of power, virtually all of the country’s institutions and much of its infrastructure were destroyed, while half of Afghanistan’s people lived in absolute poverty.  To rebuild the country and combat terrorism, USAID has been working to build a safe and stable society that meets the needs of its people and eliminate the poverty and hopelessness that breeds extremism. 

Since the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan in 2001, USAID has spent more than $17 billion to improve the lives of Afghan citizens and help lay the foundations for a bright future. In 2002, an estimated 900,000 boys were in school and virtually no girls. Now there are 8 million students enrolled in school, more than a third of whom are girls. Access to basic health services has risen dramatically, more than 22,000 health workers have been trained, and according to the Afghanistan Mortality Survey 2010, life expectancy has increased by 15-20 years, from 44 years to over 60 in the last decade.

USAID’s assistance program in Afghanistan helps create a more stable country through two mutually reinforcing development objectives – economic growth, and democracy and governance.

USAID economic growth programs improve economic opportunities and promote a business-friendly environment by supporting Afghanistan’s efforts to reduced poverty, boost incomes, created jobs, increase productivity and attract foreign investment.

USAID’s programs strengthen Afghanistan’s government institutions while increasing citizen engagement in governance, focusing primarily on the areas of health, education, rule of law and civil society.

Last updated: July 10, 2014

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