USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
In order to support these goals, President John. F. Kennedy created the United States Agency for International Development by executive order in 1961. Learn more about USAID's History.
Assistance to Foreign Countries
U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America's interests while improving lives in the developing world. USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.
Spending less than 1 percent of the total federal budget, USAID works in over 100 countries to:
- Promote broadly shared economic prosperity;
- Strengthen democracy and good governance;
- Protect human rights;
- Improve global health,
- Advance food security and agriculture;
- Improve environmental sustainability;
- Further education;
- Help societies prevent and recover from conflicts; and
- Provide humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.
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Last updated: January 29, 2014