Impact Blog Team
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On the first of April, I walked with great sadness through the United Nations compound in Juba, capital of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, now in free fall after a hopeful beginning three years ago. The compound is sheltering more than 21,000 displaced people who fled to safety after a spasm of violence in mid-December killed untold thousands.
Recently I spent two action-packed days visiting the West Bank where I saw the tremendous impact that the USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission’s work has in many sectors and witnessed several innovative projects.
We might not fully agree, but it has a key insight. All of us- including people living in poverty- have complicated, demanding lives. So simple availability doesn’t mean that even life-changing services like vaccines and HIV tests stay at the top of our minds.
Imagine a world in which diagnostics for diseases that are prevalent in developing countries are available at pennies per use, renewable off-grid energy services are affordable for households earning less than $2/day, and every family has enough healthy food to eat. USAID is helping to turn these ideas into realities by launching the U.S. Global Development Lab.
Today in New York, we launched our Global Development Lab, the new arm of our Agency that will foster science and technology-based solutions to help end extreme poverty by 2030.
In Timor-Leste, progress against maternal deaths has been slow. USAID’s “Mobile Moms” project is using mobile phones to connect expectant mothers with with trained midwives.
When Him Lal Shrestha wants to know what is happening on the ground affecting Nepalese farmers, he shoots a glance up—way up to an orbiting satellite. That great big white ball on the top of his building helps bring life-saving data down to earth.
Many consider corruption to be an unavoidable cost of doing business around the Middle East and North Africa. Through efforts such as our partnership with Transparency International, we are helping to lay the long-term foundations for a successful transition to democracy around the Middle East.
The economic impact of agricultural development is not to be understated: Increasing crop yields and profits can help enhance farming families’ resilience to shocks and improve the livelihoods of entire communities. But these programs can also impact those offering assistance on a very personal level.