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.

Instead of illegal landfills, citizens of Klokot/Kllokot in Kosovo enjoy green spaces, playgrounds and a cleaner river as a result of USAID assistance.

“I still don’t fully accept my status,” says Vivian Achieng, 27, as she waits to fulfill her antiretroviral prescription at Kenya's HIV Patient Support Center in Kisumu. She found out she was HIV-positive four years ago, in 2009.

Many Kenyans seek treatment far away from their homes to escape the stigma that can be associated with being HIV-positive, and when they arrive in Kisumu, they are not disappointed. The center dispenses antiretroviral drugs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Bibi Gol emerged from the two-day workshop in Baghdis, northwestern Afghanistan, a changed woman. “Before, I did not know about women’s right to education or my right to participate in elections,” she explained, describing the subjects discussed at the workshop on women’s rights in Islam.

When municipal officials from across northern Afghanistan gathered in Mazar-e-Sharif to discuss their work, it was more than just another talking shop.

Sayed Sakandar’s 70 apricot trees offer more than the promise of an abundant harvest. They symbolize the slow but steady success of attempts to persuade Afghan farmers that there are viable alternatives to opium poppies.

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, may seem an unlikely time of year to undertake major public works in Afghanistan. Many Afghans go from dawn to dusk without any food or drink, or so much as a sip of water. But in Arab Kheil village in Maydan Wardak province, 30 men from four villages gather day after day for a crucial repair job.

Khalib Al Humaidi is a sharecropper at the farm of the Sawan Agricultural Society in Yemen. For years, he planted potatoes, earning $50 (10,000 Yemeni Riyals) per harvest for his labor after splitting the profit with the Society. Making ends meet was a struggle. “It was very complicated,” he said.

Nowadays, however, the father of three feels as if a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders. During the last harvest in late 2012, he made $1,500 (300,000 YER) from cucumbers after splitting the profits with the cooperative. He is now in the middle of another harvest and, so far, it looks like the yield will be 12 times that of a traditional field of a similar size of 374 square meters.

When more than a hundred men and women gathered in Pul-e-Alam, provincial capital of Logar in eastern Afghanistan, it was more than just another meeting. It was a crucial attempt to bring government closer to communities in insurgency-affected areas.

When Afghanistan adopted the internationally recognized system of tariff nomenclature for traded goods, it was testimony to the skills of the analysts employed by its federal ministry of commerce and industries. From July 2011, its Trade Policy Analysis Unit has been producing a stream of data that is helping Afghanistan expand its reach in the global marketplace.   


Last updated: January 16, 2015