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.

Like many Salvadoran family owned milk processing operations, Agroindustrias San Julián, S. A. de C. V. in Sonsonate, El Salvador, used to collect its milk from local farms in un-refrigerated trucks which resulted in poor quality, high losses and minimal environmental controls. The company’s president, Luis Fernández, knew that with the passage of the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) his company would have to modernize in order to meet international standards and be able to grow and stay competitive.

Several years ago, there were only three produce merchants in the Baharak Bazaar, a market in Afghanistan’s remote northern province of Badakhshan.  Today, there are 30 traders selling fresh fruits and vegetables.  Farmers are growing more diverse crops and enjoying larger harvests as they take advantage of lower transportation costs resulting from a massive USAID program to build and improve roads.

Nearly 2 million Sudanese, driven from their homes by violence, now live in densely populated clusters of camps spread throughout Sudan’s western Darfur region. One of their greatest needs is firewood to cook food, sell for income, boil water, and heat their homes.

USAID is helping rural Afghans improve their environment and their incomes by planting pistachio seedlings.  Wild pistachio forests were once common in northern Afghanistan, but years of improper harvesting and neglect led to the destruction of many forests.  Now, a USAID cash-for-work project is underway that will restore pistachio forests covering 700 hectares in Balkh Province while providing jobs for local residents.
Residents of Balkh Province are able to buy food and essential household items thanks to a cash-for-work project that is improving irrigation throughout the region.
The Balkh Canal rehabilitation is one of several cash-for-work projects implemented by USAID to improve water flow and increase agricultural production.  The canal cleaning also provided needed employment to laborers in the area, who frequently had trouble finding work to provide for their families.
Afghanistan produces some of the world’s tastiest fruits and nuts, and these high-value food products are in great demand in international markets.  Buyers in Europe and Asia are looking to introduce quality Afghan agricultural products to their customers, and producers are eager to meet that demand. However, getting commodities to market presents a number of challenges, and USAID is assisting Afghan producers in the proper packaging and shipping of their goods.

On June 4, 2009, Fushë-Krujë Municipality became the first Albanian local government to obtain a commercial loan. The loan, in the amount of 100 million Lek (approximately US$1 million), will be used to complete the Northern Ring Road around the city, identified by the community as an essential investment project necessary to promote economic growth in the city and to improve safety (an estimated 500 heavy trucks circulate through the city per hour). The new road will divert both inter-city traffic and, more importantly, large, heavy goods vehicles around the city center.

In eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, infrastructure is poor and many villages lack good roads, access to clean water, and other basic necessities.  USAID and U.S. Forces are working together to ensure that Afghan citizens receive the development assistance that they need to improve their livelihoods and quality of life.  In insecure areas, this type of assistance shows local residents that the U.S. Government can improve their lives – winning hearts and minds.
Afghanistan’s goats produce cashmere, which can be collected and woven into luxury clothing that is sold around the world.  At the USAID-supported Kabul International Fresh Fruit and Vegetable AgFair, cashmere experts including Afghan veterinarian Janan showcased high-quality cashmere from Kandahar and highlighted the southern province’s vast potential. 


Last updated: July 31, 2014