Rwanda is a small, landlocked country with a population density that is among the highest in Africa. Rwanda is one of the world’s poorest countries but much has changed since the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 people.
Rwanda has made remarkable progress in developing national and local government institutions, maintaining security, promoting reconciliation and strengthening the justice system.
Significant chronic vulnerability in the Sahel has taken hold as a result of a combination of factors, including poverty, marginalization, weak governance, low rainfall, population pressure and high population growth, food price volatility, and climate variability.
In 2011, irregular rainfall combined with civil conflict, high food prices and shocks such as locust infestation rendered more than 18 million people food insecure, according to FAO.
In an effort to move beyond just addressing the symptoms of these factors, the Sahel Joint Planning Cell (JPC) was formed to bring together the expertise of both USAID humanitarian assistance and development assistance actors in finding innovative and collaborative ways to build resilience among vulnerable populations in the Sahel.
Since the end of the civil war in 2002, Sierra Leone has been steadily rebuilding physical, social and health infrastructure. However, the challenges of endemic corruption, high youth unemployment, inadequate services, and widespread poverty are still critical impediments to progress.
Since 1991, Somalia has essentially been a collapsed state. The social costs of war have been enormous, leaving Somalia with some of the lowest human development indicators in the world. In 2011 and 2012, the worst drought that East Africa has seen in 60 years led to famine in southern Somalia, uprooting thousands of families and putting millions at severe risk. Food security has improved, largely driven by humanitarian assistance.
USAID is working to increase stability and reduce the appeal of extremism in Somalia through programming that fosters good governance, promotes economic recovery and growth, offers youth skills training, and works to increase social cohesion through improved community with government relationships. Our programs are planned and carried out with local partners in the context of Somali culture and values.
Almost two decades after the end of apartheid, the South African Government continues to uphold the rights of its citizens and to invest heavily in the wellbeing of its people. South Africa plays a key economic and political role on the continent, but faces many challenges, including unemployment, HIV/AIDS, crime and corruption.
In January 2011, the southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly to secede, and on July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became an independent nation. As South Sudan embarks on nationhood, USAID seeks to help make the new country increasingly stable while helping the government deliver basic services to citizens, provide effective, inclusive and accountable governance, diversify the economy, and combat poverty.
South Sudan Transition Strategy: Summary (pdf,125kb)
South Sudan Transition Strategy: Full (pdf,1.2mb)
Southern Africa Regional
While Southern Africa has seen significant economic growth achievements, the overall number of people living in poverty has grown over the past two decades. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa have some of the highest levels of income inequality in the world. Since 1995, USAID has maintained a regional program in Southern Africa that has evolved over time to address the changing development challenges of the sub-region. Our programs increase trade and strengthen regional economic ties, address the HIV/AIDS crisis, mitigate food insecurity, and support democratic processes.
Following decades of conflict and a devastating tsunami, Sri Lanka is in a period of transition that will determine the sustainability of the country's peace for years to come. In the former conflict areas of the North and East, the main focus is rebuilding communities and livelihoods. The United States is a strong supporter of reconciliation and long-term stability in Sri Lanka, an island nation located along major maritime trade routes in the Indian Ocean.
USAID remains committed to playing a role in enhancing the viability and stability of Sudan as the country embarks on a new era. Conflict mitigation will be an integral component of USAID’s efforts, as progress in this area remains a chief U.S. foreign policy priority, particularly in Darfur and the Three Areas of Abyei, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. USAID will continue to build on the established coordination between diplomacy and development efforts in Sudan to address outstanding provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 22 years of north-south civil war. The Agency also will continue its support for democratic development in Sudan, as well as openings for a transition from emergency assistance to development assistance where conditions allow.
Swaziland is a small country almost completely surrounded by South Africa. Due in large part to its geographic position, Swaziland’s economy is heavily dependent upon trade with South Africa. The country has a relatively high per capita income, but nearly 70 percent of the population lives in poverty. Most high-level economic activity is conducted by non-Africans living in Swaziland. Primary education is widespread among boys and girls. The government’s transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy has been slow and remains incomplete.
Syria has been embroiled in conflict since March 2011 when the Syrian government first began to crack down on non-violent demonstrations in the streets of Damascus. Since then, more than 4.25 million people have been internally displaced from their homes in Syria and almost 1.7 million have fled to neighboring countries. USAID has been working closely with partners to provide humanitarian relief to the 6.8 million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance.
Sharing an 800-mile porous border with Afghanistan in Central Asia, Tajikistan is a potential conduit for trade between the region and South Asia. As U.S. combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Tajikistan will play an increasingly important role during Afghanistan’s transition to a more stable, connected and dependable neighbor. The United States works with Tajikistan to ensure the country remains a productive partner that can contribute to regional success.
U.S. assistance supports Tanzania’s national development goal to build public and private capacity to foster a healthier, prosperous and secure nation through accountable, democratic government that responds effectively to the needs of its citizens.
Since 1832, the United States and Thailand have maintained a strong relationship. Through its assistance programs, USAID has built a solid foundation of partnership in development with the Royal Thai Government.
Timor-Leste is one of the world's newest countries and also one of the poorest. This small, half-island nation is home to a young and culturally diverse population of just over 1 million. In its pivotal Southeast Asia location between Indonesia and Australia, Timor-Leste is already playing an important role in regional and global organizations. It currently holds the chair of the g7+ Group of Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, helping to lead the way to more effective engagement between developed and developing countries.
The United States strongly supports the Tunisian people as they lay the foundation for a future of economic prosperity that empowers a new generation, strengthens civil society and solidifies the foundation of democracy.
Tunisians have charted their own political transition, and USAID has answered Tunisian requests for support for economic growth, good governance, and expanded opportunities—areas that are interlinked in this transition environment.
Sharing long borders with Afghanistan and Iran in Central Asia, and serving as a key link to the South Asian subcontinent, Turkmenistan plays a critical role in advancing regional integration and stability. The country’s large oil and gas reserves also make it a pivotal supplier for regional and world markets. As the former Soviet Republic emerges from decades of isolation, the United States supports Turkmenistan in its efforts to foster a more open and integrated society.
USAID’s wide-ranging work in Uganda supports U.S. policy objectives in peace and security, democracy and governance, health and education, economic growth, and humanitarian assistance. USAID implements three major U.S. presidential initiatives in Uganda: Feed the Future, the Global Health Initiative and the Global Climate Change Initiative.
Last updated: December 10, 2013