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.

Across Afghanistan, many health professionals like Dr. Sayed Zia Ul Rahman, a health officer in Worsaj District, talk about the positive results in the achievement of standardized, high-quality healthcare and share their experiences with colleagues. Since 2006, USAID has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health and non-governmental organizations to implement the Quality Assurance (QA) process, a practical and streamlined management approach for improving the performance and quality of health services.

When Sairah, a 38-year-old Afghan housewife, heard that short-term jobs for women were opening in her city, her first thought was where to sign up. “They said it would be difficult work, but I didn’t care. I’m used to heavy burdens,” said Sairah.

For decades, poor irrigation, annual flooding, and severe drought plagued Nimroz Province’s Chakhansor District, depleting its agricultural capacity. The Khashrod River provides the lion’s share of the district’s limited water resources. These waters, however, often caused more harm than good, regularly flooding surrounding villages suffering from inadequate irrigation infrastructure.

The Ferosgha-e-Afghan shopping center is a five story building located in Kabul City. It was substantially damaged when three Taliban units attacked government buildings in the capital city in January 2010, which officials say killed at least 27 people and injured more than 50.

The turmoil of the past 30 years has taken its toll on rural Afghanistan. Daman District relies heavily on agriculture to sustain its economy, but due to the destructive forces of war, nature, and neglect, its karez system – an essential source of groundwater – had fallen into disrepair. The municipality lacked the necessary resources to address infrastructure reconstruction and maintenance. Without urgent rehabilitation, resident farmers and nomads would see their only source of livelihood continue to degrade.

To help broaden horizons for students from all over Afghanistan and enhance their chances of attaining better educational opportunities at universities abroad, USAID sponsored a five-week legal English program. As part of the curriculum, students presented legal research topics on one of sixteen human rights problems facing Afghanistan.

In supporting traditional dispute resolution as a community peace-making mechanism, USAID has developed numerous educational programs designed to increase elders’ knowledge in a range of Afghan laws, including family law, which addresses the rights of girls and women. In addition, USAID sponsors community discussion sessions to explore alternatives to baad. Network meetings promote sharing of local best practice and lessons learned through USAID legal training

Infrastructure in the district is in dire need of repair. The roads that connect key towns in Passaband are in a deplorable state, being practically impassable to cars and trucks. Limited transportation means an inability for the local people to access markets or medical care in the area. Passaband has also suffered from draught, which led to limited harvests and few work opportunities in agriculture

Tirin Kot, the capital of conflict-ridden Uruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan, is a serious concern for those who strive to end the conflict and establish peace in Afghanistan. Due to its isolation and volatile environment, foreign assistance rarely reaches the city. Those trying to end the conflict and build peace agree that trust and cooperation between Afghan citizens and their government are cornerstones for lasting peace.


Last updated: January 12, 2015