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.

After years of war in Afghanistan, there are an estimated one million handicapped people who are in need of assistance ranging from prosthetic devices to training. With a new, more democratically-oriented government in place, disabled Afghans across the country have been demanding acknowledgement of and support for their basic needs. After a recent demonstration in Kabul, the Afghan government agreed to raise a monthly stipend for disabled people from $2 to $5.

Agriculture is a way of life for 70 percent of Afghanistan's people and traditionally the largest and most important sector of the Afghan economy. But instability, coupled with the region's four-year drought, has devastated the country's food production capacity and impoverished farmers. Farmers and small business owners became deeply indebted during years of drought and instability, driving them to cultivate poppy for drug trafficking and force their young daughters into marriage.

USAID provided $8.3 million to help collect an estimated 13 trillion old Afghanis and replace them with new Afghanis, printed by Afghanistan’s central bank, each worth 1,000 times the old currency.