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.

Asma was just 18 when she arrived at Herat’s Legal Aid Clinic seeking refuge from an abusive husband. Her family had forced her to marry a man that Asma describes as “a drug addict”. When the young bride told her husband that she dreamed of continuing to study, she earned herself a sound beating. “My in-laws and my husband started beating me on a regular basis,” Asma told the lawyers at the Legal Aid Clinic as she filed for a divorce.

Zahra admits that she couldn’t even have aspired to her current job without USAID’s municipal internship scheme. The project focuses on recruiting women for the internship program in order to build a cadre of young professionals to work in local administration. When Zahra graduated alongside two female and six male interns, she was offered a senior managerial position on the strength of her performance during the mandatory, six-month, on-the-job training.

Benghazi is the birthplace of Libya’s revolution, but it’s also home to the new government’s growing pains. The Benghazi Local Council (BLC) is popularly elected but has been slow to deliver services, risking a crisis in confidence that could ultimately undermine the momentum of the country’s political transition. To counter this trend, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) recently supported an effort to provide local government officials in Benghazi with tools to communicate and connect with communities.

شاحنة أخرى مليئة بالدقيق تصل غدا، وستقام العملية برمتها من جديد. USAID توفر ما يكفي من الطحين إلى 50 مخبزا في محافظة حلب لخبز الخبز يوميا لما يقرب من 210،000 شخص خلال الأشهر الخمسة المقبلة.

USAID is providing enough flour to 50 bakeries in Aleppo Governorate to bake daily bread for approximately 210,000 people for the next five months.

In 2010, Béliard Miracle was an unknown farmer in the Kenscoff region of Haiti. His meager income came from small harvests of vegetables that he cultivated in difficult conditions, without the benefit of modern production techniques. With limited access to markets, he made just $1,000 per year. Then something changed in his community that made it possible for Miracle to earn three times that amount in a single month.

Abdul Jalil is a master mason in Jawzjan province in the north of Afghanistan but he earns too little to feed his family of 12. Drought, caused by poor rains over the last two seasons, has affected prospects for work in this and 13 other provinces in Afghanistan. Abdul Jalil’s family is one of many that goes to bed hungry.

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.


Last updated: January 20, 2015