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.
When Erline in Madagascar became pregnant with her first child, her family preferred that she give birth at home because it was less expensive than visiting a health center. After all, a traditional birth attendant typically charges $5—about an average week’s pay—while a birth at a facility would require transport, food and medicine costs, and cost three to four times that amount. However, a visit from a USAID-trained community health worker helped Erline and her family understand the risks of giving birth outside a health facility. And ultimately, when they considered the health of Erline and her baby, they chose the safer option.
Agricultural producers in Senegal are finding that small improvements in their farming techniques can yield big benefits when it comes to protecting their livelihoods against risk during growing season. Conservation farming, which has been promoted in Senegal by USAID since 2009, is based on the premise of “doing more with less.” Farmers till and plant only a portion of their land each season, growing crops in small, evenly-spaced basins rather than plowing entire fields. Not only does most of the land remain undisturbed, but this technique reduces soil erosion and run-off during rainfall, helping the land to retain both water and nutrients.
Since 2001, Senegal has offered free antiretroviral (ARV) therapy to HIV-positive patients. Yet many patients interrupt or stop treatment due to the cost of treating related infections and the frequency of check-ups needed to monitor their progress.
USAID has launched an innovative pilot project to encourage HIV-positive patients to continue ARV treatment. The project not only increases access to health insurance and care, but also promotes financial sustainability by offering business loans to vulnerable individuals. This is achieved through a locally-managed fund that serves as a guarantee for the loans and compensates the insurance groups for extraordinary costs associated with HIV care.
Last updated: January 07, 2014