Last year, USAID's mission in Malawi completed a five year, $700m Country Development Cooperation Strategy that promotes integrated development with the goal of “Malawians’ quality of life improved” and three objectives: Social Development Improved, Sustainable Livelihoods Increased, Citizen Rights and Responsibilities Exercised. This new strategy furthers USAID’s commitment to development partnership with the government and people of Malawi based on true accountability and collaboration.
Due to meager educational infrastructure, only 40 percent of Mauritanian youth complete primary school and 60,000 students drop out of school each year. As Mauritania imports about 65 percent of its food, rising world food prices threaten economic and food security – particularly for the 42 percent of the population which lives below the poverty line. Furthermore, longstanding ethnic tensions and the presence of extremist groups pose ongoing security challenges, threatening the stability established since the 2009 democratic elections (following a 2008 military coup).
Following a long civil war, Mozambique has made the transition to peace, stability and sustained economic growth, providing an essential link between landlocked neighbors and the global marketplace.
Its ties to South Africa’s industrial heartland underscore the fact that the country’s economic, political and social progress is vital to the interests of the region. However, the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, as well as high infant mortality, have resulted in the distressingly low life expectancy of just 50 years.
Niger, an emerging democracy landlocked in the increasingly unstable Sahel region. Itconsistently ranks at or near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. Despite increased economic growth catalyzed by expanding extractive industries, broad-based development has been hampered by poor infrastructure, extremely low education levels, and multiple concurrent natural disasters. Economic progress is further challenged by the highest fertility rate in the world, which essentially doubles the population every twenty years.
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo is relatively rich in natural resources, including forests, oil and other mineral resources, and it has the deepest port in Africa. A civil war in 1997 led to years of unrest, but stability has now returned. However, the country continues to struggle to restore democratic governance. More than 80 percent of the population is literate, and primary education is widespread among both girls and boys.
Rwanda is a small, landlocked country with the highest population density in Africa and remains one of the world’s poorest countries. However, much has changed in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide. Today, the Government is committed to making Rwanda a middle-income country by 2020, a plan enshrined in its Vision 2020 plan. Data across sectors suggest the country is actively moving toward their goal. For example, between 2011 to 2014, poverty dropped markedly – from approximately 60 percent to 40 percent– and GDP per capita increased to approximately $750. This progress has been credited in large part to strong agriculture sector growth. Rwanda’s 2015 Demographic and Health Survey has reported similar positive trends: between 1990 and 2015, the country reduced under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds and achieved an extraordinary 85 percent decline in maternal mortality. The survey also reports that 93 percent of children aged 12-23 months are fully vaccinated against major childhood diseases.
Rwanda’s progress is remarkable and USAID is working closely with the government, civil society, private sector and communities to build on this progress and address remaining challenges in health, economic growth, education and democracy and governance.
Partnership Opportunities in Rwanda
Training on How to Work with USAID
Assistance Provided to Rwanda
Evaluations for Rwanda
West Africa’s Sahel is an arid band stretching 1.1 million square miles from Senegal to Chad with limited annual rainfall. This zone has a combustible mix of deeply rooted chronic poverty, food insecurity and recurrent drought that drive the same vulnerable communities into crisis year after year.
In the past decade, Senegal has progressed significantly both economically and politically as a moderate, democratic, predominantly Muslim country in fragile West Africa. However, poor infrastructure, longstanding underinvestment, and an inhibiting policy environment continue to challenge growth.
With the Government of Senegal, USAID improves lives by creating jobs, improving access to education and health care, strengthening democratic institutions, and developing the agriculture sector to increase production and incomes.
With a population of approximately 6 million, Sierra Leone is one of the least developed low-income countries. The country’s GDP per capita is only $254, leaving 73 percent of Sierra Leone’s rural population in poverty. Women and girls feel the impact of this poverty disproportionately, with customary laws and widely held cultural and social beliefs acting as significant ongoing barriers to women’s full integration into the decision-making sphere at the household, community and national levels.
Since 1991, Somalia has essentially been a collapsed state. The social costs of war have been enormous, leaving Somalia with some of the lowest human development indicators in the world. In 2011 and 2012, the worst drought that East Africa has seen in 60 years led to famine in southern Somalia, uprooting thousands of families and putting millions at severe risk. Food security has improved, largely driven by humanitarian assistance.
USAID is working to increase stability and reduce the appeal of extremism in Somalia through programming that fosters good governance, promotes economic recovery and growth, offers youth skills training, and works to increase social cohesion through improved community with government relationships. Our programs are planned and carried out with local partners in the context of Somali culture and values.
Almost two decades after the end of apartheid, the South African Government continues to uphold the rights of its citizens and to invest heavily in the wellbeing of its people. The country plays a key economic and political role on the continent, but faces many challenges, including unemployment, HIV/AIDS, crime and corruption. USAID programs strengthen small- and medium-sized enterprises, create employment, improve learning and job skills, promote basic education, combat gender-based violence, and promote HIV/AIDS care, prevention and treatment.
After a political crisis sparked fighting in the capital, Juba, in December 2013 that quickly spread to other parts of the country, the Republic of South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war for nearly three years, following separation from Sudan in July 2011. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed and more than 2.8 million have had to flee their homes. The conflict continues to take lives in many parts of the country and all South Sudanese are dealing with the economic devastation and trauma it causes.
Southern Africa Regional
While Southern Africa has seen significant economic growth, the number of people living in poverty has grown over the last two decades. This region has some of the highest levels of income inequality in the world. Since 1995, USAID has maintained a program in Southern Africa that addresses the changing development challenges of the sub-region. Our programs increase trade and strengthens regional economic ties, address the HIV/AIDS crisis, mitigate food insecurity and support democratic processes.
Sudan was the largest country in Africa and the Arab world until 2011, when South Sudan became an independent country. It sits at the crossroads of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, with fertile lands, abundant livestock and natural resources. Since independence in 1956, Sudan has faced highly complex development challenges, but is key to stability of the region.
USAID Provides Additional Emergency Food Assistance to Millions of Sudanese People
Swaziland is a small country almost completely surrounded by South Africa. Due in large part to its geographic position, the economy is heavily dependent upon trade with South Africa. The country has a relatively high per capita income, but nearly 70 percent of the population lives in poverty. Most high-level economic activity is conducted by non-Africans living in Swaziland. Primary education is widespread among boys and girls.
Tanzania is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies with nearly 7 percent annual GDP growth since 2000. While the economy has grown, widespread poverty persists with over 46 percent (2011) of Tanzania’s population living on under $1.90 per day. Income disparity is more pronounced in rural areas, where economic growth has been hardly perceptible among the predominantly rural (68 percent) population. Inclusive broad-based growth is further stymied by population growth and low gains in productivity for labor-intensive sectors like agriculture, which employs 75 percent of the populace.
Uganda is in the midst of a demographic tsunami—with its population doubling every 16 years. This exacerbates high youth unemployment and amplifies pressures on social, natural and other resources.
With three integrated development objectives—increasing resilience, addressing the demographic drivers and strengthening the systems, USAID works in partnership with the people of Uganda to address the fundamental challenges constraining the country’s development.
Last updated: January 23, 2017