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.

Fatimata Touré’s hard work might be unkown to many, but it has not gone unnoticed. She was recently recognized at the 2014 International Women of Courage Award Ceremony for her exceptional efforts to promote women's health rights and fight against acts of gender-based violence. She was one of 10 women to receive the award from the U.S. Department of State and the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. 

Approximately one in 10 children in Mali die before reaching their 5th birthday, and malaria is the number one cause of death. 

In mid-2011, a violent crackdown on anti-government protestors exploded into a large-scale conflict in Syria, forcing millions to flee. As Syria’s largest neighbor, Turkey opened its 511-mile border to over 500,000 Syrians seeking refuge from violence at home.

Maintaining an open border policy with its southern neighbor, Turkey provides housing and relief services to hundreds of thousands of refugees living in 21 camps across 10 provinces as well as in urban areas.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP) of Pakistan have been plagued by complex cycles of violence and military activities since 2008. The initial insecurity led to the mass displacement of more than 3 million, and while many have since returned to their homes, 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) still remain separated from their homeland.

This displacement has caused severe disruption to the food security of these individuals and significant losses of productive assets.

Karimou Karidjo, a 29-year-old farmer from the Tillabéri region of Niger, has had difficulty supporting his wife and four children due to poor harvests.

“I have to find food for my children. To do so, I collect and sell wood, but even then it is difficult to put food on the table,” he says.

The war that ravaged Kosovo in the late 1990s took a devastating toll on the country’s infrastructure, and its schools were no exception. Even in 2010, when USAID launched its Basic Education Program, most classrooms were little more than open rooms with very few of the kinds of educational materials that could be found elsewhere in Europe. 

Lufta që rrënoi Kosovën në fund të viteve 1990 mori një kthese shkatërruese në infrastrukturën e vendit, edhe shkollat nuk u përjashtuan. Madje në vitin 2010, kur USAID-i prezantoi Programin për Arsim Themelor, shumica e klasave ngjasonin në dhoma të hapura me shumë pak materiale edukative të cilat mund të gjenden çdo kund në Evropë.

Katouma, 48 months, is amongst the cleanest, happiest and most active children of the many gathered with their mothers in Tion, the Ségou region of Mali. The mothers discuss a newly introduced approach to nutrition and the benefits it has brought to their households.

“Before the [program], Katouma was always sick and crying and didn’t have energy,” said Katouma's mother, Kadija Konta. “Now look at her!” 

Until recently, supporting herself with her own income was not even a possibility for Zorica Mekic, a 38-year-old mother of three who lives in Sekovici, one of the poorest municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Mekic managed to finish primary school but had not even learned to drive when the Bosnian war broke out in spring 1992. In the midst of violence and chaos that lasted four years, she fell in love, got married and bore her first child. 

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Last updated: January 06, 2014