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 an estimated 52 million cattle, 36 million sheep, 35 million goats and 5 million camels in 2009, Ethiopia has Africa’s largest livestock population. Pastoralist communities are highly dependent on income from livestock to pay for food, health services and school fees. Since 2005, USAID has supported the Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program to create a National Livestock Market Information System (NLMIS) in Ethiopia. The NLMIS helps Ethiopian pastoralists make better decisions on when to sell their livestock and earn increased income during times of economic hardship.

When the government of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan joined with USAID to repair a dilapidated girls’ school in the capital, Khost City, few could have predicted the effect this would have on the local community.
The increasing popularity of television is providing a critical source of news and entertainment for citizens across Afghanistan. Through the Afghanistan Media Development & Empowerment Project (AMDEP), USAID has supported the construction and upgrade of provincial TV stations in an effort to provide high-quality media broadcasts and expand TV access to underserved and remote communities in Afghanistan. 


USAID is working with Palestinian agricultural producers and agribusinesses to identify opportunities to increase those profit margins at all levels from field to fork. One such opportunity, in which local farmers are adjusting the varieties of vegetables they grow to best meet the needs of a frozen food processor, has the potential to create almost 500 additional jobs in the farming sector and generate more than $1.8 million in annual revenues for the farmers.  

The herders of south-central Iraq have traditionally let their sheep graze on the land. But grass and reeds are scarce and the animals are often small when taken to market. Ahmad Alsaabari, an engineer by training, had read about the success of Western foodlots and recognized the opportunity when the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) proposed founding of a demonstration facility in Babil Province, where lambs are considered among the best in Iraq.


In Bohol province in the Philippines, a weary mother watched as a midwife approached the rickety hospital bed where she sat. Her newborn lay feverish in a corner at the edge of the bed beside two other newborns and their mothers; one infant possibly with a rising infection. This was typical in government-owned hospitals, but for Corazon "Azon" Paras, the attending midwife, it did not seem fair that mothers and their infants should be in this plight.

Born to a poor family herself, Paras knew the frustration of not being able to afford quality health care. Upon becoming a registered midwife, she began her career caring for the poorest of communities in Bohol. At the government hospital, Paras worked within the limits of the public health system. Congestion was one of the pressing challenges.

Santa Rosa City, located close to Metro Manila, was in the headlines in 2009 because of the high number of H1N1 flu cases: 37, including 1 fatality. The city also registered high incidence of diarrhea among children under 5. Because of this, the city government decided to implement a campaign to promote the practice of handwashing, which has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhea by more than 45 percent. The USAID Philippine Sanitation Alliance assisted the city in developing the campaign using the USAID 10-Step Promotion Toolkit to improve hygiene and sanitation as a guide.

Afghanistan’s field guide on diseases common amongst wild animals has been welcomed as a useful portable reference for veterinarians, biologists, game guards and forestry workers.
The guidebook, which details common symptoms of each disease, also covers the level of risk to human beings. It is published in Pashtu and Dari by the Wildlife Conservation Society as part of USAID’s Natural Resource Management Program, which helps manage Afghanistan’s scarce natural resources.


Last updated: January 08, 2014