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.

“There was so much dust and traffic. Trucks and cars would drive so fast and park right in front of the shops,” explains Javid Mohammed, a Maiwand bazaar shopkeeper. “There were many accidents.” For years, the simple task of shopping could be a dangerous affair for customers in the Maiwand bazaar. The risk of being struck by cars and trucks driving along the main highway or parking directly in front of shops was very real. Business in the bazaar suffered and many shops were forced to close their doors.   

When orchards in northeastern Afghanistan were sprayed with a pesticide called dormant oil, it was more than just another disease-control measure. More than 3,000 farmers felt assured of higher yields because the oil-based pesticide is considered very effective in controlling winter pests. And pesticide spraying has become a thriving business in the area.

When Kandahar municipality in southern Afghanistan actively started to spread the word about job opportunities in local government, it was the first step towards becoming more effective. The municipality set out to attract and retain trained staff. With the support of USAID’s Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations (RAMP UP) South, Kandahar developed a training and recruitment scheme. Technical experts trained 12 high school graduates to design and manage municipal construction projects. All the trainees were subsequently recruited by the municipality’s engineering department.

Herat University has expanded its teachers’ training program thanks to a brand new College of Education. In the new building, the university is training teaching instructors. They will be a crucial element of Herat’s attempt to improve education across the province by upgrading the skills and knowledge of its teachers. The instructors being trained at the College of Education will fan out and provide continuing education classes to teachers. They will also certify teachers’ qualifications.

Just three days at a business conference and Rabiya Maryam’s life – and work – changed forever. She runs a small company in Afghanistan, which manufactures silk handicrafts, and says she benefitted enormously from the networking opportunities and inspirational real-life stories at the South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Despite a fast-growing economy, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. It is prone to weather-related shocks and experiences high levels of food insecurity, particularly among rural populations and smallholder farmers. Women farmers perform up to 75 percent of farm labor, representing 70 percent of household food production in Ethiopia. But they typically produce up to 35 percent less than male farmers because they have lower levels of access to extension services and inputs such as seeds and fertilizer.

When nine municipalities in northern Afghanistan invited members of the public to discuss the budget, it marked a turning point in the relationship between the area’s local governments and the people they serve.

USAID assistance enabled Plastic Electromechanic Company (PEC) to boost efficiency on its main manufacturing floor and newer facilities by identifying specific measurable improvement goals and setting targets for dozens of manufacturing chain elements—a strategy modeled after international best practice. 

On June 5, 2012, more than 3,500 Ukrainian aspiring judges participated in the second national anonymous test of judicial candidates conducted by the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine (HQC) with support from the USAID FAIR Justice Project. According to the Law of Ukraine on the Judiciary and Status of Judges, the test (examination) is a mandatory first stage in the process of judicial selection. The goal of the test is to identify the level of legal knowledge of candidates to ensure an objective and merit-based judicial selection process.


Last updated: January 16, 2015