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.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti disrupted bank, microfinance institution, credit union, and remittance paying agent operations. Access to financial services required even greater travel time and longer waits due to damaged roads and destroyed financial institution buildings. The need for convenient, secure and affordable financial services became more apparent than ever.

In response, USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pioneered the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI). HMMI provides incentives to encourage private sector development of mobile money services in Haiti, where only an estimated 15 percent of Haitians have access to financial institutions. At the end of 2010, through mobile phone companies Digicel and Voila, the initiative launched two mobile money services, TchoTcho Mobile and T-Cash. Clients are now able to make payments, send and receive transfers, and keep balances safely and conveniently on their mobile phones.


Ramavadh is a progressive landowner farmer in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. With limited access to extension services, he depended on resource-intensive traditional agricultural practices that did not substantially increase his yield. In 2009, in order to improve his farm yield and income, Ramavadh joined the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project that is supported by USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank.

On September 3, 2012, USAID’s Trade and Accession Facilitation for Afghanistan (TAFA) project trained more than 30 businesswomen on methods to access international markets and increase their sales.
Municipal officials in Taloqan, Takhar Province, have enthusiastically embraced the responsibility to keep their city clean, following a trash collection project supported by USAID. For three days starting on August 27, 2012, the municipality funded and organized a cleaning campaign for the city’s market and business areas, and mobilized over 300 citizens, civil society members, and business owners to join in.
After spending years working in Kabul to turn Afghanistan into a global market player, Safir Sahar has taken his mission to the next level. In August, the former USAID project manager began working to promote his country’s economic interests as Afghanistan’s first Commercial Attaché in Geneva, Switzerland, home to the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and hundreds of major multinational corporations. 

While pregnancy and childbirth are traditionally the domain of Filipino women, decisions surrounding these issues are often strongly influenced by their male partners. Recognizing the role of men in household decision making, USAID spearheaded a congress on family health to encourage and reinforce male involvement in family planning and maternal and child health. The Alban Men's Congress, dubbed “Macho Talk: Responsible Father, Caring Husband,” took place in Tabaco City in 2010 with 110 male participants—local officials, teachers, farmers, fishermen, vendors and others.


Elfinesh Duko, a health extension worker in Ethiopia, realizes she could not be as successful educating her community about health if it weren't for the volunteers that she trains, thanks to crucial volunteertraining knowledge provided by a USAID-supported health program.

"I work in a large kebele (ward) with more than 170 households. If it were not for the community volunteers, I would not be able to reach all the houses," said Duko, who covers the Sore Homba Health Post in Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region.


Last updated: January 08, 2014