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.

May 2014—Astou Dieng is the chief nurse at Senegal’s Bagadadgi health post, based in a rural community more than 700 kilometers from Dakar and serving more than 17,500 individuals from 91 small villages. One of her main concerns is persuading community members to visit a health professional as soon as they are ill.

May 2014After ridding the country of 42 years of dictatorship, Libyans are now faced with the daunting task of establishing a united vision for the future. Preparations are under way for an independent National Dialogue process to bring Libyans together to discuss issues of national importance and build consensus around them.

USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives is providing the National Dialogue Preparatory Commission (NDPC) with strategic communications support and technical assistance to expand the Commission’s reach and build credibility for the process.

May 2014—During the 2012-2013 growing season, many farmers in Malawi were affected by extended drought. But the Mtumbwe farmers of Balaka district were thriving, successfully selling their crops to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), earning profits as never before.

The Mtumbwe farmers are a group of 125 smallholders who receive support from a USAID food assistance program run by a Catholic Relief Services-led consortium.

May 2014—Fereshta Abbasi always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Now, as a law graduate, adviser to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the first Afghan national to serve as a judge in the world’s largest international moot court competition, she has actualized her ambitions.

In the past, many Afghan women did not have access to a university education and the chance to develop the skills needed for a public service career. Abbasi is one of a growing number of exceptional Afghan women who are breaking new ground.

In Haiti, roads in rural communities are often damaged by floods and lack of maintenance, affecting people’s well-being and livelihoods. USAID is currently upgrading up to 126 kilometers of roads in northern Haiti, where many households earn a living from agriculture, in addition to over 100 kilometers of roads in the Cul de Sac area, near Port-au-Prince.

May 2014—Picture a strawberry. Now picture 200 tons of strawberries. That’s how many strawberries are produced annually by Palestinian farmers in the West Bank. Unfortunately, this delicious fruit is only available for a few weeks of the year.

Or is it? Al Salam, a Palestinian agribusiness company that produces frozen vegetables, has embarked on an initiative to freeze strawberries so that Palestinians and others in the region can enjoy the vitamin C-rich fruit year round.

A once-in-a-generation typhoon made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, leaving a trail of devastation. Category 5 typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, affected 14 million people, or 17 percent of the population. Yolanda killed 6,000 people, displaced 4.1 million others and caused billions of dollars in damages to local infrastructure and livelihoods.

May 2014—Most poor families in Bangladesh who marry off their daughters before they turn 18—the legal age of marriage for girls—say that poverty forces them to make the choice. The result, for most girls who marry early, is more poverty, higher rates of maternal and infant mortality, and increased susceptibility to violence and disease.

But what happens when a poor family makes a different choice—to keep its girls in school rather than marry them off?

Through stabilizing and improving the health status of Angolans, USAID is creating a foundation for the long-term reconstruction in the country. This is helping achieve Ministry of Health goals to reduce Angola maternal mortality by 75 percent and newborn mortality by 30percent by 2015.

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Last updated: June 12, 2014