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.

Raw honey production is common in Afghanistan’s eastern region because weather in the region soothes honeybees and beekeeping. In addition, beekeeping does not require high-tech equipment or skills and is easy to do using traditional methods. However, most of the raw honey produced in Afghanistan is exported to Pakistan due to non-existence of processing and packaging firms in the region. The honey is processed, labeled as made in Pakistan, and re-exported at a higher cost to Afghanistan.

Mursal Shirzad, an 18-year old law student at the Kabul University’s Faculty of Shari’a, and four of her classmates embarked on a journey to compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held in Washington, D.C. Like many other things in her life, earning the coveted right to represent Afghanistan at a prestigious international competition did not come easy.

Improved access means more water for livestock and better fodder quality for 1,750 households. As livestock health improves, families will return to raising cattle and sheep, generating critical income while revitalizing a traditional industry in Ghazni Province.

USAID is working with the Ministry of Public Health to combat maternal mortality and support sustained improvements in maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes by enhancing the role of health workers and midwives in rural communities.

The farmers of Panjshir Province, a two-hour drive north of Kabul, have tree after tree laden with sweet, ripe mulberries. The berries were simply a nice treat for villagers in the past, but now, the fruit is translating into income for the farmers and may boost Afghanistan’s exports.

Fruit juice is a popular drink in the eastern region, especially during the hot, dusty months of the summer. However, most commercially available fruit drinks are imported, and there is a large demand for high-quality fruit drinks that cater to Afghan tastes. In 2009, The Ibrahim Malikzai Food and Beverages Company began producing mango juice under the "Fresh Up" brand, selling it mostly in the local shops in Jalalabad.

Roads are one of Afghanistan’s largest assets. They enable families to reach hospitals, schools, and services; they improve security and access to remote, unstable areas; and they encourage economic growth by allowing farmers and merchants to transport products to markets.

After learning that tons of mulberries were going to waste—up to 70 percent of the total crop—members of the U.S.-led Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team worked closely with the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and extension agents to bring to market a new product, mulberry juice. This solution would generate much-needed farm revenue.

The campaign for a nationwide rollout of “mobile money” in Afghanistan moved a step closer with the founding of the Afghan Mobile Money Operators Association in May 2011. The association is the first such trade organization in Afghanistan and among the first in the world. For Afghanistan, which ranks at or near the bottom in nearly every World Bank economic measurement, mobile money would be a solid foundation in a functioning market economy to help accelerate economic growth.

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Last updated: January 12, 2015