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.

With some 80 different ethnic groups and approximately 90 million people, providing quality education is the single biggest challenge and priority for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education. A USAID-supported Early Grade Reading Assessment performed in 2010 revealed shockingly poor results in reading achievement. By the end of grade two, 34 percent of students were unable to read even one word and 48 percent of students scored a zero in comprehension. Teachers were not adequately trained to teach in ways that promote student learning. The lack of curriculum and textbooks, teacher’s guides, and supplemental reading materials exacerbated the low levels of achievement.

May 2014—In downtown Benghazi, a dark and deserted playground is now bustling with life. Fathers and mothers bring their children to play, laugh and enjoy a safe space in a city that has been wracked by violence and volatility since Libya’s revolution ended three years ago. With four schools in the surrounding area, teachers now bring their students to the park for physical education classes.

April 2014—In Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar, villagers play a critical monitoring role for local development projects. However, many of these representatives, who are elected to serve for their District Development Assemblies, do not have monitoring experience.

May 2014—In northern Haiti's Acul du Nord, one of the communes receiving assistance under a USAID agriculture program, a path through a lush forest leads to an opening where 25 farmers—women and men—sing energetically as they worked together to create a new cocoa plantation.

While the farmers sing motivating songs, they mark the ground with wooden sticks to identify locations for the trees, preparing the ground for cocoa seedlings. They are going to plant trees of the Criollo variety, which produces cocoa to make some of the most exclusive chocolates in the world.

April 2014—The war that ravaged Côte d’Ivoire from 2002 to 2011 took a devastating toll on the country’s infrastructure. The judicial system was no exception. The decade of conflict left the judicial system in ruins, resulting in woefully inadequate courthouse space for magistrates and judicial staff.

April 2014—Côte d’Ivoire's contested presidential election in November 2010, part of the 2007 Ouagadougou Political Agreement, aimed to reunify a country divided between a government-controlled south and a rebel-controlled north. Instead of achieving stability, the elections resulted in serious violence. Three thousand people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced, inflaming an already-tense social and political environment throughout the country.

April 2014—Most tuberculosis (TB) patients in Kazakhstan, including non-infectious TB patients, are hospitalized from the time of their initial diagnosis to the end of the intensive phase of treatment. This ranges from two to four months for regular TB, and six to 12 months for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases. In addition to costing a significant portion of Kazakhstan’s national funding for TB, such lengthy hospitalizations do not comply with World Health Organization guidelines and other internationally accepted standards of care.

March 2014The occupation of Timbuktu in 2012 was a traumatic experience for the entire community, but particularly the youth, who were targeted by armed extremist groups who imposed brutal interpretation of Sharia law. For over a year, young people became prisoners in their own city or were forced to seek refuge in other areas of Mali and neighboring countries.

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Last updated: May 14, 2014