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.

Community meetings are an effective tool for identifying community grievances and creating communication and cooperation between unstable communities and Afghan government officials. USAID creates linkages between local governments and communities through the planning and implementation of small grants less than $25,000. The communities select and implement the projects in coordination with Afghan government representatives. After linkages between the communities and the local government are created, communities are encouraged to collaborate with their local government to ensure and maintain stability.

Traditionally, village women in Afghanistan have taken a limited role in the justice system, acting as an invisible hand behind male elders in the decision making process. However, women are now stepping into the mediation forefront as the result of elders networks established by USAID.

Now Chile is a partner for progress in the Americas. In 2004, the United States and Chile signed a trade agreement. And in February 2011, USAID signed an agreement with the International Cooperation Agency of Chile to collaborate to reduce poverty and strengthen economies across the Western Hemisphere.

Midwife Shaiesta has delivered dozens of babies in Afghanistan, educated numerous Afghan mothers on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and safe birth spacing, and given countless other women the information they need to raise healthy families. What she had never done before was leave her home and family to further her professional development and career. She got that opportunity when she and 30 other midwives from 19 provinces across Afghanistan traveled to Egypt for a safe motherhood training program at the Regional Centre for Women's Health and Development in Alexandria, Egypt,

Fadhil Ahmad tucked a pair of glasses into his pocket when he saw six men blocking the road that led to his house. Sitting by the side of a local graveyard, they watched him approach and then ambled across the road, blocking Fadhil’s way, while holding their weapons at ready. Fadhil knew that they were not going to let him pass.

A USAID project helps thousands of vulnerable Afghan women and families who have suffered loss resulting from international military operations against the Taliban and other insurgents. The focus is on relatively small-scale assistance that helps beneficiaries rebuild their lives and earn a living. The project also assists widows, a sector of society that is particularly vulnerable, as they were financially dependent on their husbands.

For decades, the farmers that derive their livelihood from the karez systems in Daman District have watched as the ability to irrigate their crops slowly degraded. Sections of karez tunnels and bore holes were clogged with soil deposited during the rainy season by frequent flooding. Consequently, less water reached the farms and agricultural output plummeted. As a result, many farmers were forced to leave their land because they couldn’t support their families.

The completed project allows trucks access to local farms. Next summer, farmers will no longer lose the majority of their crops while walking their harvests along the five mile route to the main road.

When summer arrives in Ordokhan, a village in Injil District near Hirat’s capital city, farmers begin harvesting wheat and tomatoes, pack the farm yields into bags, and then walk these bags to a main road. This walk, which can cover as much as five miles for some farmers, presents a severe burden. “We harvest close to eight tons of tomatoes per acre. Even if you collect only one half ton or one quarter ton of tomatoes per day, it is difficult to carry this amount by hand. 


Last updated: May 21, 2015