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.

Working closely with the Hirat Department of Water Supply, USAID conceived a project to complete certain segments of an unfinished water distribution network that had lost its original donor. Using USAID funding, the project will give thousands in Injil access to water and will provide work and income for more than 330 laborers.

Ghulam Farooq Ahmadzada has always fought for causes in which he believes.  Thirty years ago, he joined the mujahedeen against the Soviets and then fought in the Afghan civil war.  Now he’s fighting against the Taliban–without guns.  Ahmadzada heads a cooperative of 150 farmers in Palezai.  Cooperatives let farmers share resources while presenting a united front against those threatening their lives and livelihoods.

Latifa has faced many challenges. Her husband is disabled, so the 47-year-old woman has been the sole source of income for her four daughters and two sons. She is illiterate and has limited opportunities to earn money. Prior to participating in a USAID-funded women’s poultry project, Latifa struggled to get by working in other people’s homes washing clothes, cleaning, baking bread, and collecting straw to sell.

Carved into a mountainside a few years ago, the rough, rutted Tamazan Road currently serves as the sole means of vehicle access in and out of the province. The road allows traffic to flow from Nili, the provincial capital, through the disputed border district of Gizab and to the southern provinces of Uruzgan, Kandahar, and Hilmand. During heavy winter rains and snowfall, Daykundi Province is typically cut off from the rest of Afghanistan. Tamazan Road is the only artery that remains partially passable.

Walk far enough along a village canal system in eastern Afghanistan and you will find yourself in the mountains. Open canal paths and friable soil give way to tight corridors framed by towering granite mountains. These corridors become choke points when snowmelt creates floods, driving rock down from mountain ridges toward local intakes and canals.

Deh Sabz Village is located in Adraskan District, 95 km west of Hirat Province. Due to a lack of resources in the Afghan government, many of the community’s grievances remained unaddressed, creating a gap between the government and the local communities.

After a strict ban on poppy cultivation was imposed, farmers in the Spinghar District of Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan started growing lawful crops instead of poppy. Their livelihoods now rely on staple crops and naturally grown pine nuts and walnuts harvested in the district’s uplands. Though the crops were cultivated successfully, transport to local markets was critical to completing the value-chain and supporting livelihoods.

Developing new markets for Afghanistan’s fresh fruit is critical for the development of the Afghanistan agricultural sector – both to increase job opportunities in Afghanistan and as a platform for future agricultural growth. Five Afghan companies attended the India Fresh Fruit Trade Office opening looking for ways to expand their export sales. They are especially interested in taking advantage of the huge and profitable India fresh fruit market. Afghan farmers receive a high price for their products in India because their production is at a different time of the year and is considered of the highest quality.

More than 1,500 women members of the Afghan Women’s Business Council were trained on good agricultural practices, proper harvesting, sorting, packing, and marketing, including food processing at Badam Bagh farm in Kabul, a USAID-supported facility owned by the Ministry of Agriculture. Used as a place to train people interested in agriculture, the farm demonstrates modern agricultural methods like grape trellising, drip irrigation and greenhouses. The farm also researches new varieties of fruit and vegetables for Afghanistan and features fields of grapes, sweet corn, spinach, cabbage, strawberries, and tomatoes.


Last updated: January 08, 2015