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.

Technical assistance and a grant from the USAID Iraq Financial Development Project enabled three Iraqi universities and their business and economics schools to apply for membership of the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

Women-focused civil society organizations estimate that at least twenty percent of the female population in Iraq has either no formal identity or has serious impediments in proving their identity. USAID’s Access to Justice Program educates women and vulnerable groups about their rights and encourages them to use the justice system. 

Children in Basra, in southern Iraq, face numerous impediments to their education, from overcrowded classrooms to the lack of hygienic washrooms, desks and teaching aids. Yet, those living in the Al Resala community in Central Basra faced an even more looming threat: for years, they have dodged cars and prayed for their lives simply to walk to school.

In 1999, Ari Hishyar Sedeq Hassan moved to Germany where he worked in a bakery in the small town of Gronau, producing Black Forest Rye Bread, cinnamon buns, and Kaiser Rolls. Thirteen years later, Ari decided to return home to Dahuk in northern Iraq.

Amid all the uncertainties of modern Iraq there is one immutable constant: when summer arrives temperatures in Baghdad soar to more than 120º F and stay there for several months. This seasonal reality is especially discomforting for motorists mired in traffic. Today, however, comfort levels are rising as thousands of Baghdadis trade in their old clunkers for late model air conditioned cars.

Kindergarteners Omar and Zahra’a remember the day their friend Hassan was killed by a passing car while playing on a neighborhood street.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Central Medical Stores (CMS) was badly damaged in war and poorly maintained for more than 20 years. Despite being the Ministry’s central warehouse for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, the CMS became a dumping ground for obsolete or damaged equipment, and had no procedures for selling or disposing of unneeded goods.  An impressive collection of broken wheelchairs, beds, boilers, fire extinguishers, exhaust fans, heating equipment, and other goods were strewn about haphazardly.

Dickens Alyao is no stranger to the fear and uncertainty associated with HIV. Ten years ago, he tested positive for HIV while on active duty in the military. Today, at 46, Alyao is the father of six children (all of whom are HIV negative) and an active USAID-trained network support agent in his home community of Aloi, Lira district.

For a local policeman, joining efforts with a USAID program to address sexual and gender-based violence in his community was a welcome challenge.

“I have daughters myself and am concerned about this issue. I had heard about sexual and gender-based violence before, but honestly, when USAID came and talked to the entire community about it for the fi rst time, much of the information was new – particularly the connection between sexual and gender-based violence and HIV transmission,” said Okot Paul, the sub-country police post in-charge.


Last updated: January 12, 2015