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 olive industry in Iraq is beginning to grow and prosper, and much of the credit for the growth belongs to the USAID-InmaAgribusiness Program. In 2009, in accordance with Congressional mandate to work with religious minorities in Iraq, USAID-Inma specifically targeted funding to help an olive producer in Ninawa province called the Al-Zaytoon Olive Association. The funding, which totaled $700,000, helped fund new equipment, technical assistance and other development needs.

The fish industry in Iraq floundered over the past decade.  Farmers were faced with a multitude of problems including disease, the lack of electricity, poor feed quality, lack of water and several economic hardships, such as high operations costs, low prices and transportation issues. 

Mahmmon Majeed, a young and eager farmer, wanted to expand his Dahuk feedlot business to add a butcher shop for the residents of Dahuk.  This wasn’t an easy operation for Mahmmon to create the Blann Butcher Shop.  The skills involved in breaking down carcasses takes time and effort in order to have the types of products consumers want to buy. 

The Hameediyah Mushroom Farm was established in 1984, just west of the city of Ramadi. The company is privately owned by the Khirbit family. 

Tragedy struck in 2004, when a bomb destroyed a house on the property. The explosion also killed one of the Khirbit brothers and forced the family to shut down the company for good. 

Melons are big in Diwaniyah governorate and getting bigger, thanks to the USAID-Inma Agribusiness Program. 

Technical assistance and a grant from the USAID Iraq Financial Development Project enabled three Iraqi universities and their business and economics schools to apply for membership of the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

Women-focused civil society organizations estimate that at least twenty percent of the female population in Iraq has either no formal identity or has serious impediments in proving their identity. USAID’s Access to Justice Program educates women and vulnerable groups about their rights and encourages them to use the justice system. 

Children in Basra, in southern Iraq, face numerous impediments to their education, from overcrowded classrooms to the lack of hygienic washrooms, desks and teaching aids. Yet, those living in the Al Resala community in Central Basra faced an even more looming threat: for years, they have dodged cars and prayed for their lives simply to walk to school.

In 1999, Ari Hishyar Sedeq Hassan moved to Germany where he worked in a bakery in the small town of Gronau, producing Black Forest Rye Bread, cinnamon buns, and Kaiser Rolls. Thirteen years later, Ari decided to return home to Dahuk in northern Iraq.

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Last updated: December 30, 2013