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.

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. 

1960 | Oral Rehydration Therapy is credited with saving tens of millions of lives around the globe.  This simple treatment for diarrhea is one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century.  Diarrhea can be deadly for children in the developing world because it causes severe dehydration.

The Haiti Hope Project creates opportunities for Haitian mango farmers and their families. With a focus on empowering both men and women in the mango industry value chain, the aim of the Project is to double the incomes of more than 25,000 Haitian farmers over five years through training and access to financial services. Haiti Hope is a US$9.5 million partnership between business, multilateral development institutions and civil society partners.

Thousands of refugees were driven from the Dar-e-Noor District in northern Nangahar Province to Pakistan by war and instability during the last 30 years. Despite security improvements, many have chosen to remain in Pakistan rather than face the poverty that has consumed their home villages.

Shagai Village, located in a remote district of Paktya Province, has had few development efforts because of the rampant insecurity in the province. Typically, women only leave their homes to gather during weddings and funerals. Social and economic development activities for women are alien in Shagai. Poverty cuts to the bone.

Agriculture is an important sector in Afghanistan that employs most of the Afghan population in rural areas. In addition to other agricultural products, Afghans produce high quality tomatoes that are mostly consumed fresh, or dried for future consumption. There are only a few cold storage facilities that can keep the seasonal product fresh for future consumption.

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Last updated: May 21, 2015