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.

When Iqbal Ahadi graduated from Kabul University with a de-gree in civil engineering, he wanted to build roads, but he had minimal experience. Nine years later, after working with USAID infrastructure projects throughout the country, there is hardly a road engineering job that Iqbal has not held.

USAID funds innovative programs – including the program at Opportunity International Bank – to improve access to banking services for poor families. Through the bank, Malawians’ savings are cycled back into their communities in the form of loans that help small businesses grow. In Haiti, USAID has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a fund to help Haitians gain access to banking services using their mobile phones.

Baghlan Province suffers from the intrusion of insurgent elements, which are creating problems for Afghan and international security forces by contributing to drug trafficking and launching suicide attacks. The situation requires stabilization efforts to ensure security and prevent the spread of insurgency to neighboring provinces.

Vegetables are grown across Afghanistan’s eastern region and provide a good reliable source of income for farmers. Most of the produce is sold in local markets, yielding lower prices when compared to upscale national and international markets.
USAID established eight commercial production farms in various districts of Nangarhar Province. Though not certified, these farms closely follow Global GAP standards.

In just over a week, the sale of composted organic waste has raised 20,600 Afghani ($460) for the Kandahar City municipal government, the first of what is to become a regular ‘green’ revenue source for the municipality. Nutrient rich soil has been separated from trash being cleaned up as part of a project funded by USAID.

USAID works with community development councils and other eligible grassroots organizations to implement small-scale community-level projects in 14 provinces in the north, west, and central regions of Afghanistan. As a part of USAID’s efforts to create a link between communities and local government, the USAID-funded Women’s Mentoring Program in Baghlan Province worked in cooperation with the Baghlan Provincial Line Department of Women’s Affairs to enhance women’s knowledge on Islamic issues, women’s rights, government regulations, civil rights, conflict resolution, and violence against women

Thirty years of war and civil strife has had a crippling effect on Afghanistan’s civil-society and health services, leading to some of the highest infant, child, and maternal mortality rates in the world. In 2002, Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health initiated strategic efforts to address the health needs of Afghan society, in order to rebuild Afghanistan’s public health services and infrastructure and to develop closer ties to the non-governmental organization community.

Almost 90 percent of the people of Bamyan Province rely on potato crops as their primary source of income. The province is well-known for its good quality potatoes countrywide. Farmers use traditional farming methods to plant their crops. Recently, a potato growing community in the province established the Potato Cooperative Association, with the aim to unify farmers, increase crop outputs and production, and improve their income.

The 520-bed Jalalabad Public Health Hospital in Nangarhar Province is large and exceptionally busy with an average of 40,000 to 50,000 outpatients and 1,700 baby deliveries per month. "For these reasons, hospital staff members were not enthusiastic about having to attend another meeting," said Medical Director Dr. Sayed Afandi. But in October 2009, a Drug and Therapeutics Committee was established at this busy hospital and staff attitudes began to change.

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Last updated: May 21, 2015