Transforming Lives

Every day, all over the world, USAID brings peace to those who endure violence, health to those who struggle with sickness, and prosperity to those who live in poverty. It is these individuals — these uncounted thousands of lives — that are the true measure of USAID’s successes and the true face of USAID's programs.

Aug. 2014—Jerome Cowan made a decision to do better for himself—better than what was expected for someone growing up in his neighborhood, Parade Gardens, one of Jamaica’s most violent communities.

Whether waiting in a frantic emergency room after an accident, or at a routine medical check-up, patients everywhere look for relief, understanding and timely assistance from their doctors. Serbia is no different. However, its health care system suffers from underfunding, poor management and a high public perception of corruption.

Statistics are grim for the victims of domestic violence in Serbia. In 2013, 76 people died in cases of domestic violence—45 of those were women and five were children. Since the beginning of 2014, 11 women have been killed and as many as 1,883 have contacted the helpline of the Counseling Against Family Violence, a civil society organization that provides support for victims.

Although significant progress has been made on tuberculosis (TB) detection and treatment in Uzbekistan in recent years, TB incidence is estimated at 128 per 100,000 people a year—the fifth highest in the European region. In addition, 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) estimates show that case detection remains low at 48 percent compared with the organization’s recommended level of 70 percent.

Dairy farmers are still struggling to get back on their feet after the record rains, floods and landslides that devastated Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in May 2014. The floodwaters receded months ago, but the road to recovery will be difficult and long. Fortunately, the farmers won’t have to walk it alone.

Access to finance is a constant challenge for Kosovo’s small farming businesses, with profits from a low sales year often drying up before they can be put to use in growing the following year’s bumper crop. To address this, USAID recently partnered with TEB Bank to unveil the Agricard—a credit card specifically designed to increase cash flow for farmers before the spring growing season.

Purportedly, one can tell a lot about people by the way they talk about their deeds, if they are reluctant to put themselves in the spotlight. Such are the brave rafters from the Kanjon Rafting Club of Banja Luka, who were among the first to put their lives and skills in service to rescue victims of the devastating floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in May 2014.

The year 2014 will always be remembered in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH): It was the year when deadly floods and landslides destroyed everything in their path. Houses, schools, hospitals, businesses, farms and crops were devastated. Damages are in the billions of dollars. Recovery will be long and hard. 

For Y Nguyet, during the rainy season in Vietnam, just going to and from school was a fearful experience. Without knowing how to swim, she had to pass through treacherous, fast-flowing streams, which have been known to sweep people away.

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Last updated: November 03, 2014