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.

Sweeta and Saher might stand out anywhere in the world but in Afghanistan, they are decidedly unusual. They are studying engineering at Kabul University, both are currently working as interns with USAID support and both passionately want to build careers in structural design. The two young women are undeterred by the gender gap in Afghanistan and believe that nation-building is woman’s work too.

For Zubair, in Wardak, there’s only one way to live in Afghanistan and that’s by playing volleyball. Zubair, a member of the Wardak volleyball team, says sport is revivifying for any country but more so for one like Afghanistan. He is not alone in his appreciation of sport. Just weeks ago, Zubair’s sentiments reverberated across Wardak when the Provincial Governor’s Office dipped into funding provided by USAID to buy the Wardak Sports Federation a range of gear for volleyball, football and taekwondo.

In the five months that Mohamed Ahmed Alawili and Hassan Al-Mogahed have been working with livestock extension agents from a USAID agricultural support program in Yemen’s Amran governorate, they have witnessed firsthand the benefits USAID is providing to farmers in the country.

The program is a USAID-funded initiative to enhance agricultural production and rural economic development in Yemen. By using the concentrated feed, mineral blocks, vaccinations and training the program provided, Mohamed and Hassan have seen the health and productivity of their sheep increase dramatically.

2,500 evergreen trees, bought with USAID funds, were distributed to locals to be planted in Mahmood i-Raqi, the provincial capital and in Hesa Awal, Hesa Dow and Kohband districts. The Governor called on every family in the province to plant at least one tree each

‘I learned that proper form and style in writing is essential to quality work. I also realized that having standards and clarity makes it easier for everyone to work together’

Afghanistan has become much more a part of the global marketplace with the adoption of the internationally recognized system of tariff nomenclature for trade products. Transition to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which is used by more than 190 countries, began late last year with crucial assistance from USAID’s Trade and Accession Facilitation for Afghanistan (TAFA) project.

When apple and grape growers in the Shakardara district of Kabul province contacted the Provincial Governor, it was to seek help in the fight against a very particular enemy – the seasonal disease that can blight farmers’ lives and livelihoods.

‘We are here to support women in protecting their rights, and to raise aware-ness with all of the Afghan people to support their rights to inherit land’ Hussan Bano Ghazanfar, minister for women’s affairs

When taxi driver Faridullah headed for Jalalabad airport in the hope of picking up passengers, his family was unaware they would never see him again. It was dawn and a vehicle packed with explosives was hurtling towards the same destination. The 28-year-old father-of-two died, along with five others, in the Taliban suicide attack. His devastated family was left to cope with the loss of a husband, father, brother and breadwinner. The taxi was the family’s only asset which they depended on to earn an income.

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Last updated: January 20, 2015