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.

USAID designed the Agricultural Development Fund to work through commercial banks and other financial institutions, providing them with lending capital and compensating them for the risks inherent to agricultural lending. Nonetheless, banks were in general unwilling to provide financial services to the agriculture sector. This issue had the potential to render a USAID project unable to reach the farming community and promote the growth of Afghan agriculture.

Ask anyone who lives in Daman District and they will tell you exactly what they think of the roads. While most of what they say is unprintable, it is easy to see that road conditions are deplorable. During the dry season, roads are bumpy, dusty, and full of potholes. Although trucks are the preferred method of transport, farmers are sometimes forced to rely on pack animals to move their produce to the market.

While HIV prevalence in Afghanistan is currently low with 1,250 reported cases to date, the country is at high risk for the spread of HIV due to factors such as low literacy rates, low awareness of HIV, war, poverty, and growing injecting drug use.

When asked what services the municipality should provide in the city, the residents of Qalat pointed to garbage removal as one of their top priorities. In close collaboration with the Qalat mayor, USAID responded to this request through a project designed to strengthen the municipal capacity in the six southern provincial capitals. From June to September 2011, residential and market areas, pathways, and ditches were cleared of trash and swept clean. This project improved the hygiene and appeal of central city areas and simultaneously improved relationships between the citizens and their municipal representatives.

Motivated. Dedicated. Determined to make a difference in the government of Afghanistan. These are just a few words that describe Amina Ahmady, a former intern with the USAID-funded Women in Government internship program. Ahmady’s journey from intern to full-time employee with the Government of Afghanistan is inspirational to other Afghan women seeking to follow her lead.

Women across Afghanistan are beginning to prove their significance at home and within the community thanks to the opportunities for economic generation and enhanced participation provided by the international community and many Afghan civil-society organizations.

Insurgents, whose attitude toward education is often at odds with that of the local community, target schools to destabilize communities and demonstrate the government’s inability to provide a safety for its children.
As a result of funding limitations, the Gharati Village Middle School in Adraskan District, located 95 km from the provincial center of Hirat Province, did not have a surrounding wall. The 3,800 students and 60 teachers at the school were at risk of being kidnapped or intimidated by insurgents because of the open space in front of the school.

Across Afghanistan, many health professionals like Dr. Sayed Zia Ul Rahman, a health officer in Worsaj District, talk about the positive results in the achievement of standardized, high-quality healthcare and share their experiences with colleagues. Since 2006, USAID has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health and non-governmental organizations to implement the Quality Assurance (QA) process, a practical and streamlined management approach for improving the performance and quality of health services.

When Sairah, a 38-year-old Afghan housewife, heard that short-term jobs for women were opening in her city, her first thought was where to sign up. “They said it would be difficult work, but I didn’t care. I’m used to heavy burdens,” said Sairah.


Last updated: January 12, 2015