USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for 50th Anniversary

50 Years of Partnership with Kenya – Part 3 of 4

USAID’s health and population program is a top priority for USAID’s mission in Kenya. USAID works with partners in Kenya to bring health workers directly to the communities.  These health workers provide information and care about HIV/AIDS and malaria programs, as well as work with community religious leaders to discuss family planning.  USAID supports HIV/AIDS programs in each Kenyan province, has provided millions of treated mosquito nets to communities throughout the country, and has led a successful program that shows family planning is possible without violating religious or cultural beliefs.

An Intern Looks at 50 years of USAID

Many Americans born before the baby boomer generation reference the adage “walking to school uphill both ways” to summarize the hardships they faced to gain access to an education.  Whether or not older generations actually faced an uphill walk to school, they certainly had to look harder—and in more places—for information. Today, it is quite clear that the near-immediate access to information for many young people in the United States today has made our lives easier, our motivations clearer, and our goals more readily realized.

As USAID approaches its 50th anniversary, it is important to recognize the work of people on both sides of this spectrum: from seasoned professionals who have worked for the Agency since its earliest days, to the younger generations, whose contributions have helped the Agency evolve but stay true to helping people who need it most.

Read the rest of this entry »

50 Years of Partnership with Kenya – Part 2 of 4

USAID and Kenyan partners created the Northern Rangelands Trust, or NRT, which is an umbrella organization that oversees local conservancies owned and managed by local communities.  The roles of NRT include building capacity, ensuring financial transparency, and improving local security for both pastoralists and tourists.  NRT also provides a means for granting microfinance loans – just one of the many ways that this program has encouraged women’s empowerment.   In the past five years, USAID has helped NRT maintain its presence and gain momentum in Kenya.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight 2 more videos celebrating 50 years of partnership with Kenya.

50 Years of Partnership with Kenya – Part 1 of 4

Agriculture is the largest single employer in Kenya and counts for one fourth of the country’s GDP, but the current agricultural production methods in Kenya are inefficient, causing economic stagnation and poverty.  USAID and partners on the ground in Kenya have developed competitive programs for maize, dairy, passion fruit, and small hold farmers to help improve productivity.  These initiatives – like USAID’s Feed the Future – have transformed lives, promoted sustainable agricultural development, and improved the nutritional options for many of Kenya’s people.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight 4 videos celebrating USAID’s partnership with Kenya. The first video in this series shows the variety of agriculture programs and activities that have occurred over the past 50 years and the impact that they have had on the people of Kenya.

USAID at 50: Improving Health Services in Ethiopia

To commemorate USAID’s 50th anniversary and the concentrated efforts to improve health in Ethiopia, USAID co-sponsored the 2011 annual Every One Campaign Race to raise awareness about maternal and infant mortality rates within the country. While Ethiopia has some of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world, USAID and its partners are working to strengthen health systems, train skilled providers, and expand the coverage of important health services such as vaccinations and pre-natal care. Death rates among children under five have almost halved across the past twenty years.

The event was attended by world long distance record holder Haile GebreSelassie and 2010 New York marathon winner GebreEgzabhir GebreMariam. Festivities included a pre-race concert, entertainment, and even a skit that demonstrated the importance of health care centers as safety mechanisms for mothers and children.

No mother should die giving birth.

50 Years of Stabilizing Countries and Supporting National Security

This week, we’re highlighting how in volatile regions, USAID works side-by-side with the military, playing a critical role in our nation’s effort to stabilize countries, and build responsive local governance. Development efforts can also prevent conflict from occurring and future military involvement by helping countries become more stable, prosperous and less prone to violent extremism. In the videos below, former Secretary Gates and Vice Chair ADM Winnefeld speak from decades of experience in American foreign policy and on behalf of the U.S. military about this important partnership.

Left: Former Secretary Gates congratulates USAID on its 50th Anniversary and reaffirms his support for USAID and how development programs support our national security and contribute to our economic future.

Right: Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, Jr. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff congratulates USAID on its 50th Anniversary and reaffirms the military’s support for USAID.

Thank you both for this lasting gift and for your continued service to our great nation.

50 Years of Achieving Real Results in Childhood Literacy

For the past 50 years, USAID and a growing number of partners have been working to improve the quality of education in developing countries with an emphasis on boosting child literacy.  In February of 2011, USAID launched its evidence-based education strategy – shifting the focus of global education toward achieving real results in childhood literacy, higher education and equitable access to schooling for children in conflict and crisis environments.

From the USAID photo archives, the following image shows Salvadoran children playing in the schoolyard of a newly constructed school in 1969.  In close coordination with the Office of Planning and School Construction, USAID financed the construction of hundreds of schools in El Salvador during the 1960s.

In the second image, taken this year, Markoli confidently grips her notebook as other students gather behind her outside of a schoolhouse in Geia village.  While the school provides primary education up to grade level 3, the age range of students varies greatly as this is the first school for the Bodi people of Geia in the remote area of South Omo, in southern Ethiopia. This school was built by the local community with funding from the USAID Teach program.  The villagers provided the labor, and USAID funding provided the materials and funding for a teacher.

50th Anniversary Blog Series – Optimistic, Momentous, Divine and Full of Joy

Over the past few months, this blog has hosted a series of posts to highlight five decades of USAID’s history. While 50 years of saving and improving lives is quite an accomplishment, let us step back and consider another significant milestone achieved this year.

On June 2, USAID’s mission in Mongolia celebrated its 20th year of partnership with the country. To mark this occasion, the people of Mongolia celebrated their many accomplishments achieved over the past 20 years—including a democratic transition to a free market economy!—and by looking forward to Mongolia’s future.

We welcome you to watch (and share!) this short video of Mongolians sharing their universal hopes and dreams for their country.

A Look Back at our 25th Anniversary: Foreign Aid Helps Developing World

USAID 50th anniversary banner

Featured in the 1986 December edition of Frontlines

“No other program rivals AID’s global accomplishments.  Twenty-five years have given us confidence in people in less developed countries and in our ability to help them solve their problems and live better lives,” Administrator Peter McPherson declared before a National Press Club audience in Washington, D.C., Nov. 12.

In an address marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Agency, McPherson said that AID’s accomplishments are underestimated and misunderstood by the public.

Secretary of State George Shultz cuts AID’s 25th anniversary cake. The cake’s size, according to Administrator Peter McPherson, represents the small budget allocated for AID activities. Photo Credit: USAID

“Foreign aid works,” he said.  “The problem is, too few Americans know how it works.  And, they aren’t going to support a program they don’t know much about, especially when budgets are tight.”

McPherson stressed that foreign assistance is carefully planned to promote peace and prosperity.  “Foreign aid is not a handout, Development of the Third World is an investment that benefits both Americans and the people of developing countries,” he said.

He noted that the assistance that helped to develop the economies of South Korea, Mexico and other countries has substantially benefited U.S. business.   “Mexico, which received $1.7 billion worth of U.S. products in 1983 alone,” he reported.

Economic and political stability is critical to U.S. national security, said McPherson.  “America does best when we have a prosperous, growing world; the Soviets do best when things are in turmoil.” He said responding to a question.

McPherson outlined significant improvements in the quality of life in the Third World that AID has helped to bring about in the past 25 years.  Child mortality has been cut in half, he said.  Today, most children enter primary school, while very few did so in the 1960s.  He also noted that life expectancy has increased by 10 to 20 years in the Third World.

McPherson likened AID’s role in the “Green Revolution” in Asia to the Marshall Plan, which revitalized postwar Europe.  “Twenty years ago, India had a famine of historic proportions.  Without the miracle wheat and rice varieties developed and provided to India with AID’s help, this region would probably still face the risk of famine,” he said.

50th Anniversary: President Kennedy Addresses USAID Mission Directors

President Kennedy’s remarks to Mission Directors and Deputy Mission Directors from the Agency for International Development from the Rose Garden of the White House June 8th, 1962.

Well I want to – I’m impressed by – I wish all of our fellow Americans could listen to the litany of the countries to which you are going – all of them far away – many of them countries about which most of us knew very little two decades ago, or even in the case of some of them, a few years ago.  And the term that they will spend in these countries ranges from what? A minimum of two years, two to four years

Well I want to tell you what I’m sure you must be aware of or you wouldn’t be here, and that is the importance of this program and the importance of your work and how much we depend upon your judgment

Aid, the concept of foreign assistance, is not a popular program in the United States.  That is a well-known fact.  And therefore, there will not be farewell parades to you as you leave or parades for you when you come back.  But I cannot think of any action which is more important to the effort of which we’re engaged than what you are doing and the military advisory programs which are carried on in the same countries and the Peace Corps activities which are carried on in some of these countries also.

The presence of the United States as a leading power in the free world is involved in your work directly.  The people who are opposed to AID should realize that this is a very powerful source of strength for us.  It permits us to exert influence for the maintenance of freedom.  If we were not so heavily involved, our voice would not speak with such vigor, and as we do not want to send American troops to a great many areas where freedom may be under attack, we send you, and you working with the people in those countries to try to work with them in developing the economic thrust of their countries so that they can make a determination that they can solve their problems without resorting to totalitarian control and becoming part of the block – that’s the issue.  That is why you are very much in the front line of this effort.  That is why every president of the United States since 1947 – President Truman, President Eisenhower, and myself, have strongly supported this effort.  It represents a very essential national commitment.  It is a burden, but far less than the burden that would be involved to us directly if we did not have this program.

Read the rest of this entry »

Page 2 of 5:« 1 2 3 4 5 »