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.
Bamyan’s mountain ranges are beautiful to the eye. Rugged peaks and ridges are separated by valleys, carved out over the centuries by streams and rivers supporting the green web of vegetation along their banks.
Many children in Afghanistan die each year of easily preventable diseases. Nearly 25 percent of those deaths are due to diarrhea. These frequent attacks of diarrhea are among the main causes of under-nutrition, which delays development and is implicated in over half of all childhood deaths.
Kunduz is a relatively large city located in northern Afghanistan. Several English and computer training centers exist within the region, but in most families women are not allowed to attend classes with men. These constraints restrict female access to the training facilities.
There are 225 families living in Taibuti Village near central Bamyan Province without access to potable water. Most of the inhabitants have been suffering from diseases including diarrhea, kidney disease, and thyroid problems. Sediqa, head of the Afghan Families Development Organization based in Bamyan, decided to train women from the community to make water filters from common materials available in the local area.
A woman in Zinda Jan district of Hirat Province reported that she once accidentally gave veterinary medicine to her child because she did not have basic health information.
Given the images of Afghanistan that appear in the news, most people would have difficulty picturing Afghanistan as an appealing tourist destination. But for two western businesses, this is precisely the Afghanistan they envision, and they are putting their money into making that vision a reality.
"When the first irrigation project came to Khairkut, we were slow to register to work there. We had doubts about the project because lots of people had made promises to help us before but none of them delivered on their promises. Our forefathers went to their graves with hope in their hearts that these lands would be developed," said Mahmoud Ahmad, a worker at the second project in Khairkut District of Paktya Province.
Routine vaccinations can spare many Afghan children from the communicable diseases that not only make them ill but can even cause death. But with 80 percent of the estimated 25 million people living in rural areas, in a country the size of Texas, immunizing every child against measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio represents no small challenge.
Last updated: January 07, 2015