India has experienced strong growth in recent decades and now boasts the world’s largest democracy and seventh largest economy. Yet one in five people still live on less than $1.90 a day. Projected to become the world’s most populous country by 2030, India faces the challenge of providing its growing population with access to energy, clean water, quality education and health care. Simultaneously, India has become a strategic U.S. partner and ally in maintaining regional stability, expanding regional trade, and addressing development challenges in India and globally.
By leveraging India’s growing human and financial resources, the United States-India partnership can harness the expertise, innovation and strengths of both countries to resolve critical local and global development challenges.
Despite India’s growing economy and rising geopolitical status, the country continues to face formidable development challenges. For example, India is home to over one-third of the world’s stunted children and accounts for the world’s highest number of preventable child deaths. Roughly one-quarter of the population — or 300 million people — is not connected to the electrical grid, and nearly 50 percent lacks access to adequate sanitation.
USAID partners with the Government of India, the private sector and civil society to address these challenges through multilateral cooperation and through the U.S. Government’s initiatives for Global Health; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Global Climate Change; and Feed the Future. Together, the U.S. Government and Government of India catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship, build partnerships to foster local solutions, and then work to elevate the impact of these solutions nationally, regionally and globally. For example, USAID supports the Millennium Alliance and the India Partnership Program which unite public and private sector partners to create, test and scale solutions to some of the world’s greatest development challenges. These initiatives support a range of innovations including solar-powered water purification pumps, electricity generation using waste heat generated during cooking for rural households, low-cost waterless urinals, and mobile applications to provide critical, timely health information to rural women and health workers.
- Reading levels in grades 3 and 4 increased by 40 percent as a result of USAID-sponsored learning camps attended by 25,000 children from schools across Maharashtra State.
- 32,000 low-income households in Bangalore now have low-cost clean water via state-of-the-art water filtration machines thanks to USAID and its partners.
- Thousands of farmers in three states increased crop yields by 50 percent and reduced production costs by one-third through the use of new farming tools introduced by USAID.
Saving and Improving Lives Through Increased Access to Health Services
USAID partners with the Government of India and the private sector to eliminate preventable child and maternal deaths, create an AIDS- and tuberculosis (TB)-free generation, and achieve universal health coverage. USAID is supporting India’s Call to Action for a TB-Free India campaign, which engages health care providers, patients, corporate partners, media, celebrities and academia to prevent, detect and treat TB. USAID also works to increase access to skilled providers for safe deliveries, antenatal care, immunizations and family planning.
Supporting Clean Water and Sanitation For All
USAID, the Government of India, Indian companies and civil society are saving lives and improving health through promotion of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in India's growing cities. USAID’s efforts include support for a private sector coalition and a program management unit within the Ministry of Urban Development to help India achieve its sanitation targets and become “open defecation free.” USAID assists communities and governments in promoting sanitation through behavior change, designing and maintaining of toilets, improving piped water supply, and waste disposal. USAID is supporting Visakhapatnam, a Government of India-designated “Smart City,” in building a model sanitation system.
Advancing Global Climate Change Resilience, Forestry and Clean Energy
USAID supports India’s transition to a low-emissions, energy-secure economy through clean energy and sustainable forestry partnerships. The U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy has mobilized over $5 billion in public and private sector resources for the research, development and application of clean energy solutions in India. USAID is also working with local stakeholders to reduce emissions, enhance carbon sequestration and strengthen forest-dependent communities.
Investing in Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Disaster Management
USAID engages public and private sector partners from India, Africa, the United States and other countries in the region to develop, test and transfer Indian agricultural innovations that enhance food security. USAID also improves farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change by applying cutting-edge technologies. USAID strengthens the Government of India’s capacity for disaster preparedness, response and planning by working directly with local stakeholders.
Strengthening Education, Empowering Women and Protecting Rights
USAID leverages private sector resources to support innovative teaching approaches and technologies that strengthen the reading and learning skills of primary school children. USAID empowers girls and women by supporting India’s “Save the Girl, Educate the Girl” campaign. USAID supports India in preventing gender-based violence and protecting the rights of the disabled by engaging communities advocating policy changes that protect the vulnerable.
Last updated: January 28, 2016