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.
Across the Sahel, periodic droughts have increased with distressing frequency. In 2012, millions throughout the Sahel—including parts of Burkina Faso—experienced food insecurity after poor harvests in 2011 that were exacerbated by conflict and insecurity that spilled out of Mali and into neighboring countries.
Despite these challenges, communities in Burkina Faso that previously received assistance from USAID are thriving. In the village of Rassomdé, farmers continue to produce yields three times greater than before USAID’s assistance and in spite of the 2012 food crisis.
When Habibullah Saifizada looks at one of his gemstones, he sees a glittering symbol of the future. A graduate of the USAID-funded Institute of Afghan Arts and Architecture at Turquoise Mountain, Habibullah runs a thriving jewelry business. “I want to become a famous jeweler,” he says, proudly describing the orders he has received from as far afield as Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Tucson.
The unifying themes of Ferozkoh are the preservation of the traditional arts of the Islamic world – in both subjects and materials – in the modern world, and the role of education in its transmission and translation. Half the objects are historic pieces from the Museum of Islamic Art collection, from four great dynasties with connections to Afghanistan: the Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals and Safavids.
Sima is one of many women in her area who were trained in dairy farming at a Veterinary Field Unit. USAID’s Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives for the North, East, West (IDEA-NEW) project has supported nearly 100 such units, staffed by women para-veterinarians, over the past three years. The units aim to help Afghan livestock farmers, particularly women, reduce livestock mortality and help increase the yield of meat, milk, eggs, cashmere and wool from karakul sheep.
Farzana’s dreams became reality when the municipal authority in her city, Lashkar Gah developed a business-training scheme for women like her. The three-month program, supported by USAID’s Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations (RAMP UP) – South, taught Farzana all she needed to know about becoming beautician.
An Afghan delegation of 16 officials, headed by Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries Mozammil Shinwari, participated in Afghanistan’s third Working Party meeting on Dec. 7 at WTO headquarters in Geneva. A Working Party allows WTO members and Afghanistan to discuss progress in reforms to conform to WTO agreements and principles.
Asma was just 18 when she arrived at Herat’s Legal Aid Clinic seeking refuge from an abusive husband. Her family had forced her to marry a man that Asma describes as “a drug addict”. When the young bride told her husband that she dreamed of continuing to study, she earned herself a sound beating. “My in-laws and my husband started beating me on a regular basis,” Asma told the lawyers at the Legal Aid Clinic as she filed for a divorce.
Zahra admits that she couldn’t even have aspired to her current job without USAID’s municipal internship scheme. The project focuses on recruiting women for the internship program in order to build a cadre of young professionals to work in local administration. When Zahra graduated alongside two female and six male interns, she was offered a senior managerial position on the strength of her performance during the mandatory, six-month, on-the-job training.
Last updated: January 15, 2015