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.

Maiwand is a farming community located in the northwestern part of Kandahar Province, in the area where opposition to the government and support for the Taliban has traditionally run deep. That attitude has been changing lately, thanks to the efforts of a progressive district governor, Obaidullah Bawari, and coalition force leaders based in the area.  In the past two years, Maiwand has benefitted from various projects proposed by the governor and supported by USAID.  These initiatives have greatly improved prospects for long-term stabilization and sustained economic growth in the area.

Like many other Afghan pomegranate farmers, Haji Wali Muhammad sold his pomegranates on the local market but did not receive a price that would make his Kandahar-based trading business sustainable.  He and other Afghan producers needed to increase the quality of their pomegranates through proper sorting, grading, and packing procedures and to find outside markets that would offer a competitive price for Afghanistan’s sweet and juicy pomegranates.

Haji Malang used his welding skills to establish the Javid Afghan Thresher company six years ago and it has grown into the first large-scale manufacturer of wheat and rice threshers and farm trailers in Afghanistan.  The company, based in the eastern city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan, recently obtained a loan from the Agricultural Development Fund.

Shaikh Zayed University is located in the city of Khost in eastern Afghanistan.  Officially opened in 2008, the school has nine faculties and more than 3,000 students.  It is the only university in Afghanistan with a faculty in computer science.  Its journalism faculty operates a private radio station, and its medical students train at the government-run Khost Hospital.

Deforestation and heavy grazing of the upper watershed remain serious problems facing Afghanistan’s agriculture sector.  As forest and grass cover is destroyed on mountain slopes, water rushes down the hillsides resulting in erosion and less water available for farms in the valleys.  Flooding from the unchecked run-off destroys existing farmland, carries off valuable topsoil, and leaves silt in the canals – all of which is compounded by unsustainable farming practices in the lower watersheds.

Afghanistan shared its sweetest treasures in cuisine and drink with thousands of international participants who attended the world’s largest annual trade show for the hospitality, food, and beverage industries.  Gulfood 2011 in Dubai featured 3,800 exhibitors, 81 international pavilions, and 55,000 buyers from 152 countries.

In 2009, tribal conflict between Pashtun and non-Pashtun communities in Muqur District of Badghis Province escalated to violence with loss of life on both sides.  USAID worked in collaboration with the Afghan government to engage both communities in constructive improvements to reinforce the reconciliation efforts launched by the district governor and strengthened the foundation of stability in the district.

Many people in Afghanistan live in remote areas without access to local markets for off-season fresh fruit and vegetables.  USAID has established three greenhouse facilities in the province of Parwan in central Afghanistan to help provide homemakers with food security and a steady income.

The emerging marble and stone industries of Afghanistan, which can bring value to global investors and wealth to Afghan communities, will be on display at The Afghanistan International Marble and Stone Conference “Afghanistan’s Resource Advantage,” sponsored by USAID’s Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development project, and hosted by the Afghan Marble Industry Association, the Ministry of Mines (MoM), the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  The marble association unites most of the companies that specialize in the quarrying production, as well as on the finished products including the cut and polish of marble in different shapes, sizes, and varieties.

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Last updated: January 06, 2015