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.

More than a thousand young people, many of them girls, have received jobs training in key districts of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. This is part of USAID’s Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative-East, which was launched in 2009 in selected strategic locations where unemployed young people are at the receiving end of insurgent messaging. The training includes civics education, which teaches young people their rights and responsibilities as good citizens.

Just over 500 people from Khost City - 480 men and 30 women – were recruited to repair the classrooms, 30 toilets and walkways of Bibi Halima school. They improved the electrical wiring and installed 68 ceiling fans. Till then, the students endure the summer heat in stifling classrooms. The results were dramatic. School enrolment rose – from 4,800 to 5,200. Fifteen more teachers were recruited. Both students and teachers reported vast improvements in the overall environment.

The increasing popularity of television is providing a critical source of news and entertainment for citizens across Afghanistan. Through the Afghanistan Media Development & Empowerment Project (AMDEP), USAID has supported the construction and upgrade of provincial TV stations in an effort to provide high-quality media broadcasts and expand TV access to underserved and remote communities in Afghanistan. 

USAID is working with Palestinian agricultural producers and agribusinesses to identify opportunities to increase those profit margins at all levels from field to fork. One such opportunity, in which local farmers are adjusting the varieties of vegetables they grow to best meet the needs of a frozen food processor, has the potential to create almost 500 additional jobs in the farming sector and generate more than $1.8 million in annual revenues for the farmers.  

The herders of south-central Iraq have traditionally let their sheep graze on the land. But grass and reeds are scarce and the animals are often small when taken to market. Ahmad Alsaabari, an engineer by training, had read about the success of Western foodlots and recognized the opportunity when the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) proposed founding of a demonstration facility in Babil Province, where lambs are considered among the best in Iraq.

In Bohol province in the Philippines, a weary mother watched as a midwife approached the rickety hospital bed where she sat. Her newborn lay feverish in a corner at the edge of the bed beside two other newborns and their mothers; one infant possibly with a rising infection. This was typical in government-owned hospitals, but for Corazon "Azon" Paras, the attending midwife, it did not seem fair that mothers and their infants should be in this plight.

Santa Rosa City, located close to Metro Manila, was in the headlines in 2009 because of the high number of H1N1 flu cases: 37, including 1 fatality. The city also registered high incidence of diarrhea among children under 5. Because of this, the city government decided to implement a campaign to promote the practice of handwashing, which has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhea by more than 45 percent. The USAID Philippine Sanitation Alliance assisted the city in developing the campaign using the USAID 10-Step Promotion Toolkit to improve hygiene and sanitation as a guide.

Afghanistan’s field guide on diseases common amongst wild animals has been welcomed as a useful portable reference for veterinarians, biologists, game guards and forestry workers.

Emergency road repairs continue apace in Kabul, months after its harshest winter in 20 years but their ongoing significance goes much beyond a smoother ride for residents of the Afghan capital. The road works are a shining example of the partnership between Kabul Municipality and the international donor community. The teamwork has been brought about by the USAID-funded Kabul City Initiative (KCI).

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Last updated: January 20, 2015