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.

With support from USAID, Afghanistan's Minister of Education H.E. Dr. Wardak paid a visit to Washington, D.C, from May 29 through June 5, where he met with officials from the U.S. Government to include congress and USAID, World Bank, and the Asia Foundation. Minister Wardak’s visit served to ensure US support and cooperation to the Afghan Ministry of Education.

During a recent visit to Hirat Province, U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry enjoyed a brief discussion with Sima Ghoryani, the charismatic founder and head of the Ghoryan District Women’s Saffron Association. Founded in 2008, the association is comprised of women saffron growers in Ghoryan District, located in western Hirat Province on the Iranian border. In 2009, with a grant from USAID, the association registered with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and bought packaging and marketing equipment used by its members to develop their businesses.

Fresh from an eight-day training on entrepreneurship development in India, Mahooba Waizi and Khubera Zaifi of the Afghan Women’s Business Council (AWBC) are applying their knowledge to strengthen the role of Afghan women in the country’s agribusiness sector. As partners of USAID in a gender-focused, agribusiness entrepreneurship program, the practical training helped the women leaders shape their plan to expand market share and break into international markets.

Officials from Kabul University and the U.S. Government recently inaugurated the Kabul University Renewable Energy Laboratory (KURE Lab) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the facility.

Deh Sabz District, located northeast of Kabul and bordering the relatively insecure Surobi District, is a priority stabilization district for USAID. The Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, leading to insecure provinces bordering Pakistan, runs through this district, adding to its strategic importance.

During the last week of May 2011, shopkeeper Mohammad Ewaz of Mullah Sher Akhund Ziarat, a community in District 8 of Kandahar City, was so happy with the work being accomplished by a USAID project, that he began offering tea to the project’s labourers to show his gratitude. Examples such as this are being repeated across the city, demonstrating widespread support among residents for this solid waste management project funded by USAID.

Safi Kot Village in Qalai Zal District is located in volatile Kunduz Province. The district has turned into a focal point for insurgent activities. Because of the government’s limited outreach to the district, community grievances have remained unaddressed. Aqueducts prevent roads from washing out during heavy rains and channel water into agricultural fields. However, the insurgent situation has led to the destruction of infrastructure leaving transportation and irrigation systems in disrepair.

Afghanistan is an agrarian nation with more than 80 percent of its citizens living in rural areas and relying on livestock such as sheep, goats, cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, and chickens for food and income. The health of these living resources is essential for the survival of many Afghans, but rural Afghans often have limited access to veterinary services.

A recent annual perception survey ranks Afghanistan as the second most corrupt country in the world, with only Somalia ranking worse.  Despite this reputation, Afghan governmental officials are making efforts to reduce corruption.  This has included the Afghanistan Supreme Court establishing the country’s first Anti-Corruption Tribunal.

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Last updated: January 06, 2015