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.
With a large family depending on her earnings, Fatuma Suleban has struggled. “I used to sell meat on the street – with no shade,” she says. “I would often move around all day in search customers.”
In Somalia, USAID supports activities that communities select and implement with local authorities for quick-impact progress toward stabilization.
When USAID brought together government and community representatives from Aynabo, the town in central Somaliland where Suleban lives, the group prioritized market rehabilitation and public sanitation.
In 2009, Hamsa Haji Hussain returned from the United Kingdom to the small town of Beer in Somaliland to manage over 3,000 hectares of farmland inherited from his father. He had earned a degree in business administration in the U.K. and started an enterprise there.
“But I always knew I was going to come back home and follow in my father’s footsteps,” says Hussain. When Hussain first saw his land, he was shocked at the contrast with England’s lush countryside. “But once the rain fell, I saw the river flow and realized the potential,” he says.
Abdirisaq Noor saw a fundamental problem with Somaliland livestock: branding. Noor was not referring to marking livestock with a hot iron, but the marketing of Somali livestock.
“You can taste the difference in Somali livestock meat. It’s fresh, it’s grass fed, it’s organic,” he explains. “But until now, no Somali has branded their livestock meat as organic and free range.”
He held a piece of paper to his chest and tried to explain what he had drawn: a painted wall where he used to sit and sniff glue, and a restaurant where he begged for food. “They used to kick us away and pour hot water on us,” said 12-year-old Abdi Omar Yusuf.
Abdi now lives at the Janno Jiif Street Kids & Rehabilitation Center, located on the outskirts of Somaliland’s capital city, Hargeisa. Run by Somaliland’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the center houses over 100 street children who have been displaced or fled from Somalia and neighboring Ethiopia.
In Vietnam, villagers and authorities bent on halting the spread of avian influenza are now adept at stopping infected chickens from crossing the road. And they are gaining ground on the bigger challenge of keeping hens and ducks from crossing the country's borders to prevent outbreaks which threaten vast flocks of poultry and human health.
Last updated: December 26, 2013