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.

Studies have shown that communities living adjacent to forests are among the poorest. Mount Nimba communities in eastern Sierra Leone are no exception. Their dependence on the forest for survival impacts negatively on biodiversity. Timber harvest and charcoal production have been regular activities of the local inhabitants for years. Areas that were previously covered with forests are now deserted and prone to bushfires, all exacerbated by livestock rearing.

At a school in rural Tanzania, a child watches volunteers unravel a mosquito bed net. Doctors and health care workers from various organizations have arrived at the school for the annual School Net Program, not only to distribute insecticide treated bed nets, but also to educate students about malaria. By the time students bring their bed nets home, other local village volunteers will have briefed parents on how to properly install and use a bed net, ensuring that every child is protected from malaria.

Mnoge kompanije u Srbiji pate od slabog korporativnog upravljanja, i često je vlasnik u isto vreme i generalni direktor koji se u rukovođenju firmom oslanja na intuiciju. Zato veliki broj kompanija u Srbiji u ranoj fazi nije u stanju da napravi uspeh u prvih nekoliko ključnih godina poslovanja. Čak i firme koje uspevaju da rade dugi niz godina, na kraju propadnu zbog lošeg upravljanja. Kao deo napora da unapredi uslove poslovanja u Srbiji, USAID je predvodio aktivnosti izrade smernica za rukovođenje u firmama u Srbiji.

Many Serbian companies suffer from weak corporate governance, where the owner, who is also often the company’s CEO, relies primarily on intuition to run the business. As a result, a large number of Serbian “early stage” companies are not able to succeed in the critical first years of doing business.

In Niger, it is common for girls to get married as young as 14 years old and miss out on the opportunity to attend school and learn essential life skills. They grow up lacking knowledge of proper health, nutrition and pregnancy practices, leading to high rates of chronic malnutrition and related pregnancy complications affecting them and their future offspring.

How do you help a struggling Serbian community confront high youth unemployment and social marginalization? By empowering the next generation to identify problems and advocate for change.

In Guinea, malaria is the leading cause of health consultations, and is responsible for 31 percent of hospitalizations and 14.2 percent of deaths. All people, particularly children under 5 and pregnant women, are at risk.

Mozambique is among the most attractive tourist and investment destinations in southern Africa with its significant natural and cultural assets. So where are the tourists? They are choosing more affordable vacation destinations, partly because of the high cost of flying in this country of more than 300,000 square miles.

In 2012, the Government of Mozambique launched a tool to better manage customs operations—the Single Electronic Window. Designed to enhance efficiency and transparency of trade across borders, the system improves trade taxation management, enables effective controls, and promises to make it easier to do business in Mozambique.

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Last updated: November 25, 2014