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.

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.

Home to some of the sweetest and juiciest varieties of pomegranates, grapes, and apricots, Afghanistan is promoting its natural riches to the world through trade shows in lucrative markets abroad.  Not only is it winning over international customers with its high-quality produce, Afghanistan is also grabbing top honors for its presentation.

Women living in villages of Nangarhar Province have had limited access to justice systems, and minimal, if any, involvement in public decision-making processes.  However, this is beginning to change as a result of a range of elders networks that encourage male and female elders to discuss and improve local systems for alternative dispute resolution.

Most Afghan farmers feed untreated straw to their livestock.  Because they cannot extract enough energy from the straw, this causes the animals to lose weight.  With Afghan women feeding their household every day, Dr. Zubeida Popal has an eager audience when she provides training to boost the nutritional value of fodder and increase livestock productivity during the winter months.

Following the defeat of a local Taliban Commander, former anti-government elements across Hirat Province are laying down arms and reintegrating into their communities.  Several of these reintegrees have retained leadership roles under the auspice of their new pro-government stance.  In order to insulate these areas against further influence from the remaining anti-government elements, the Afghan Government is building relationships with its former enemies, demonstrating the government’s ability to respond to their community’s needs.

For many young Afghan men, finding work that pays enough to support a family is a daunting challenge, especially if they don’t have education or technical skills.  Many have no choice but to seek work from anti-government elements in order to provide for their families.  However, USAID stabilization programs are giving thousands of Kandahari men another option.

The people of Afghanistan have long suffered from extremely limited access to safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation.  In support of the new government, many donors are investing in water supply and sanitation across the geographically diverse country.  Significant funding has been spent and thousands of hand pumps, piped water schemes, and latrines have been constructed.  However, lack of sustainability and community involvement in their maintenance remains a significant challenge to ensuring the long-term value of these infrastructure investments.

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Last updated: January 06, 2015