The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government's international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance. Here are some of the most recent and significant accomplishments at USAID:
JOURNEY TO SELF-RELIANCE
- Ensured ending the need for foreign assistance is the centerpiece of our work by bringing a common analytical framework -- the Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR) -- to how we conceptualize our partnerships. Focused on a country’s commitment and capacity to lead its own development journey, we have integrated the principles that underpin the J2SR across all 60+ of our Regional and Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCSs) from Country Roadmaps, Financing Self-Reliance, Private-Sector Engagement, Redefining the Relationship with Partner Governments, Strategic Transitions, Countering Malign Influence, and Effective Partnering and Procurement Reform;
- Created USAID Country Roadmaps for all low- and middle-income countries and launched the Self-Reliance Country Roadmaps Portal, a vital knowledge platform viewed more than 250,000 times by visitors from more than 200 countries, that demonstrates how countries progress toward self-reliance;
- Launched the Financing Self-Reliance (FSR) Dashboard, which includes FSR country snapshots. These data-driven tools allow USAID and governments, civil society, and the private sector in our partner countries to understand better how to improve their ability to marshal and manage their own resources to finance their development journey;
- Launched the Private-Sector Engagement (PSE) Policy to transform how USAID engages with the private sector, to ensure the Agency works hand-in-hand to design and deliver our development and humanitarian programs effectively in all sectors;
- Mobilized more than $188 million in private capital through the USAID INVEST mechanism and poised to mobilize up to $2 billion in blended finance through the $250 million USAID CATALYZE contract for continued private-sector engagement; and
- Obligated $896 million to American small businesses in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the highest dollar amount USAID has ever invested in support of U.S. entrepreneurs, including women-owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, and small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans;
- Established the use of innovative development practices, including the use of co-creation tools, transition awards, flexibility in programmatic adaptation, and the strategic use of sub-awards in support of local partners to advance the self-reliance of our partner countries.
- Established five new Bureaus and reorganized one Office to target USAID’s work to match an evolving developmental landscape:
- Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance: To save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the physical, social, and economic impact of rapid and slow-onset disasters by supporting at-risk populations to build stable foundations for their Journeys to Self-Reliance;
- Bureau for Resilience and Food Security: To advance inclusive, agriculture-led growth, foster resilience at the community and household level, improve nutritional outcomes, and expand access to water and sanitation to accelerate the progress of communities in our partner countries on their Journeys to Self-Reliance;
- Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization: To contribute to peace and stability through programs, funding, and technical services that focus on the social, communal, and political aspects of crises and political transition;
- Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation: To host USAID’s central resource for technical assistance to our Missions, to allow USAID to anticipate and respond to evolving trends and critical issues by adapting our programs in innovative ways;
- Bureau for Asia: Reintegrated the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs into the Bureau for Asia to create stronger regional coordination and strategies to ensure alignment with interagency priorities; and
- Office of the Administrator: Reorganized the Agency’s Front Office to include the Associate Administrator for Relief, Response, and Resilience to manage the complexity of USAID’s work more effectively and formalized the role of the Office of the Executive Secretariat as our liaison to the National Security Council; and
- Transformed USAID's approach to partnering and procurement through the creation of USAID's first ever Acquisition and Assistance Strategy, including by diversifying USAID's partner base through the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) and emphasizing policies and practices to enable innovative and adaptive-management approaches as provided through the Effective Partnering and Procurement Reform initiative
RESPONSE TO COVID-19
- Allocated more than $1.3 billion to save lives by protecting health-care workers, strengthening laboratory networks, supporting disease-surveillance, and improving accurate public health education and communications in more than 120 countries;
- Donated nearly 9,000 ventilators to 43 countries and supported the safe and effective use of oxygen in 42 countries;
- Delivered emergency food assistance to more than 4.7 million people affected by lockdowns and stressors related to COVID-19;
- Shifted 47 metric tons of relief supplies to the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to support the U.S. domestic fight against the pandemic;
- Developed novel data tools to help inform USAID’s international response to COVID-19 by leveraging more than 100 leading and emerging data sources, including a data-visualization tool that provides 15 interactive dashboards for USAID’s staff to assess first- and second-order impacts of the pandemic;
- Created educational tools and resources for the 1.68 billion children and youth who are out of school across the world because of COVID-19, including curricula for distance learning; support for psychosocial, safety, and social emotional learning; assistance for returning students to learning and reopening schools; and data-driven emergency-response planning; and
- Reached more than 24 million children at the primary and secondary level in 2020 to provide them with access to education in the middle of the pandemic of COVID-19.
OVER THE HORIZON (OTH) STRATEGIC REVIEW
- Conducted a four-month strategic review to position USAID for a world altered by COVID-19 by looking at the evolving humanitarian, development, and wider national-security landscape:
- The OTH’s strategic objectives are the following: (1) Build more stable, resilient systems in countries that are increasingly fragile because of COVID-19; (2) Respond to dramatic increases in food insecurity, extreme poverty, and loss of educational opportunities in communities most affected by COVID-19; and, (3) Strengthen public and private health systems strained by COVID-19 in partner countries critical to global health security.
WOMEN’S GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROSPERITY (W-GDP) FUND
- Worked with more than 450 private-sector, non-governmental, and local organizations, as well as host-country governments, with the potential to catalyze more than $400 million in more than 60 countries:
- In its first two years, the W-GDP Fund totaled $200 million;
- Established new partnerships with the private sector, including with Mastercard, Microsoft, PepsiCo, United Parcel Service, and Walmart, that bring together expertise, innovation, and resources;
- Launched two rounds of the W-GDP Incentive Fund, a competition across USAID Missions to advance the W-GDP Initiative through new and existing activities:
- Incentive Funds provide resources to promising and creative partnerships globally with the private sector, locally led organizations, U.S. Government partners, and host-country governments.
- Worked with interagency U.S. Government partners through the W-GDP Interagency Fund to promote women’s economic empowerment through programs that leverage the strengths and expertise of other Departments and Agencies.
COUNTERING MALIGN INFLUENCE AND ACTORS
- Launched the Countering Malign Kremlin Influence Development Framework to tailor assistance to the most-urgent threats posed by Kremlin malign influence, including by countering corruption; strengthening independent media, democratic institutions, procurement and investment policies; and bolstering energy systems and connections;
- Expanded the President’s Indo-Pacific Vision to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region and counter malign influence from the Chinese Communist Party by collaborating with other U.S. Government agencies, the private sector, and the Governments like-minded donors such as Australia, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan;
- Launched the Countering Chinese Influence Fund, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, which will invest a total of $300 million in programs that will advance national-security goals in the areas of governance, cybersecurity, commercial engagement, and stabilization/resilience in the Asia, Western Hemisphere, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Middle East regions to build more resilient partners that are able to withstand pressure from the CCP and other malign actors;
- Founded the Blue Dot Network to promote shared standards for high-quality global infrastructure, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation; and
- Promoted América Crece, a U.S. Government interagency initiative to support economic development through private-sector investment in energy and other infrastructure projects across Latin America and the Caribbean.
LOCALLY LED DEVELOPMENT
- Funded more than 150 local organizations through prime awards to implement interventions in care, treatment, and prevention for HIV, more than one-third of which are new to USAID;
- Issued 29 awards, valued at more than $400 million through the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) and obligated more than $1.56 billion to new and underutilized partners in FY 2020;
- Developed USAID’s first-ever Local Capacity-Development Policy to prioritize investments that improve the performance of local actors—individuals, organizations, and networks—to produce sustainable development outcomes jointly; and
- Completed and submitted NPI Action Plans at 77 USAID Missions in FY 2020, which set two-year targets for increasing engagement with new, underutilized, and local partners, by using co-creation to enhance awards and increase local capacity-development.
- Worked with the U.S. Government interagency to draft and launch the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability, which sets forth a U.S. Government-wide framework for addressing the underlying causes of fragility that often lead to conflict, violence, or instability and reaffirms the role of USAID as the lead implementer in the U.S. Government for international development, disaster, and non-security assistance for prevention and stabilization.
- Responded to more than 240 natural disasters and complex crises around the world since 2017, including famine in the Republic of South Sudan; conflict in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Yemen, and the Lake Chad Basin; and the Venezuela regional crisis ;
- In total, USAID has provided approximately $25 billion in humanitarian assistance to respond and strengthen resilience to humanitarian emergencies since the beginning of FY 2017.
PROTECTING THE PEOPLE WE SERVE
- Released USAID’s first-ever Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Policy, which emphasizes the importance of prevention, community engagement, and taking a survivor-centered approach in USAID-funded programs;
- Updated USAID’s Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) Policy to enshrine victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches, encourage partnerships with host governments to build their capacities to combat modern slavery, and provide clear roles and responsibilities for USAID’s staff who are implementing C-TIP programming; and
- Published a new USAID Partner Toolkit that provides additional guidance to our staff and partners on their responsibilities for safeguarding the people we serve from sexual exploitation and abuse; child abuse, exploitation, and neglect; and trafficking in persons.
INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (IRF)
- Allocated $200 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and host communities in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and other countries in the region, as well as for internally displaced Rohingya and other crisis-affected communities in Burma, including those who fled ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State since August 2017;
- Invested nearly $500 million into Northern Iraq to rehabilitate critical infrastructure, such as schools, health clinics, and power stations;
- Prioritized IRF in USAID’s Program Cycle through the development of comprehensive action plans and the inclusion of IRF in CDCSs and regional strategies;
- Responded to President Trump’s signing of Executive Order (E.O.) 13926 on Advancing International Religious Freedom by submitting a detailed Implementation Plan to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of how USAID will prioritize religious freedom and continue to support religious and ethnic minorities worldwide in its humanitarian and development assistance; and
- Developed and introduced new requirements for training on international religious freedom for all our Foreign Service Officers, consistent with E.O. 13926 and the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 1150).
PROTECTING LIFE IN GLOBAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE
- Expanded the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) Policy to meet critical global health goals and champion the health priorities of women and young girls, while honoring our commitment to championing human life and dignity.
IMPROVING HEALTH GLOBALLY
- Renewed the United States' commitment to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, by pledging $1.16 billion over FY 2020-2023, subject to Congressional appropriations, to strengthen the global infrastructure for vaccination and ensure families in low- and middle-income countries have access to immunization against outbreak-prone diseases, such Ebola, cholera, yellow fever, and meningitis.
- Helped 84 million women and children access essential, and often life-saving, health care, in 2019 alone;
- Achieved a historic public health milestone in 2020 in Africa with the eradication of the wild poliovirus;
- Distributed enough mosquito nets to protect 320 million people; sprayed homes with long-lasting insecticides to protect 77 million people; distributed preventive medicine to protect 20 million pregnant women and 14 million children under age five; distributed 295 million rapid malaria tests and 270 million fast-acting antimalarial treatments; and trained 170,000 health workers on gold-standard malaria care, all through the President’s Malaria Initiative;
- Provided more than 6.3 million people with life saving medication, delivered HIV testing and counselling to 167 million people, identified 7.6 million new HIV cases, and ensured more than 5.6 million orphans and vulnerable children and their families received care and support, all through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),
- Changed the prioritization of U.S. democracy assistance from short-term crisis response and post-conflict nation-building to longer-term democratic development, focused on strengthening a culture of democracy and lawfulness that promotes domestic development of sustainable democratic institutions and self-reliance;
- Appointed a Senior Indigenous People’s Advisor to ensure the consideration and protection of Indigenous Peoples in all of the Agency’s programs and assistance; and
- Published the Agency’s first-ever Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PRO-IP) after in-depth consultation with indigenous communities around the world.
INNOVATION and RESEARCH
- Pioneered the use of the cash-benchmarking methodology to inform how USAID can allocate our resources for maximum impact:
- Through partnerships between USAID/Washington, USAID’s Missions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, the Higher-Education Solutions Network’s Development Impact Lab at the University of California Berkeley is implementing these ground-breaking studies to inform USAID’s understanding of how the impact per dollar of household grants compare to more standard approaches and development interventions.
- Re-launched the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program on its tenth anniversary to support local entrepreneurs who are delivering breakthrough solutions and began providing Evidence Grants (up to $1.5 million) to identify solutions that are delivering results and scaling up successful innovations:
- These include a new online platform to streamline the grants application, review, and reporting processes, and a revolutionary service to accelerate the skills and operations of DIV grantees to achieve significant growth;
- Reached DIV’s decade milestone of investing $149 million in global innovators who are testing new ideas to address the world’s most-intractable development challenges, by building rigorous evidence of what works and scaling up the most results-oriented and cost-effective solutions:
- DIV minimized risk by combining best practices from venture capital and academia to maximize results that have affected more than 55 million people living in poverty through more than 225 investments across 47 countries; and
- Launched the Deployable Innovations initiative to identify and scale up proven innovations supported by the Agency:
- First prioritized under the Effective Partnering and Procurement Recommendations (EPPR), this effort on “deployable innovations” is cross-Agency and strives to build a system that will enable USAID (and our partners) to address benefits of applied innovation and benefit fully from successful investments in impact innovations by creating opportunity to “deploy” swiftly in different contexts.
- Launched the Agency’s first-ever Digital Strategy, which sets a path to strengthen open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems in our partner nations to serve all citizens, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable, equipping staff and partners to incorporate the responsible use of digital technology in strategic programming; advances national security and economic prosperity of the United States and partner nations through deployment of equitable and resilient digital infrastructure;
- Launched USAID's Cyber Cavalry, a mechanism that leverages the U.S. private sector, to deliver cybersecurity technical support to the Agency’s partners and beneficiaries, particularly those threatened by malign actors and influences;
- Empowered governments and the private sector in USAID’s partner countries to expand inclusive and secure digital ecosystems, through 5G and digital-economy initiatives that address policy, regulations, and financial needs to ensure every individual can access, afford, and use broadband Internet;
- Signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Communications Commission to provide training and coordination with Ministries of Information, Communications, and Telecommunications on adopting safe and secure 5G networks and policies in emerging markets; and
- Released the “Barriers to Investing in Last-Mile Connectivity” report, which identifies growth opportunity and investment potential in expanding Internet access and increasing adoption, especially in the world’s least-developed countries.
- Contributed to the Trillion Trees initiative in improving the protection, restoration, and management of more than 2.5 million acres of natural and planted forests over the next two years while helping partner countries meet their natural-resource management and emissions-reduction goals;
- Launched a $48 million global Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program to combat ocean-plastic pollution in key countries;
- Signed an MOU with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a network of 47 leading companies that is committed to investing $1.5 billion in solutions to plastic waste;
- Delivered energy programs in 20 key countries, which contributed to the installation of 34,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity; and
- Mobilized more than $40 billion in private investment for the generation of clean energy, including a significant portion from U.S. businesses.