Yesterday, President Barack Obama was the first sitting U.S. President to visit Burma. There, he officially opened the USAID mission after a 24-year hiatus. “Today, I was proud to reestablish our USAID mission in this country, which is our lead development agency,” said President Obama. The President affirmed the United States’ partnership in helping Burma, “reestablish its capacity to feed its people and to care for its sick, and educate its children, and build its democratic institutions as you continue down the path of reform.”
To learn more about our efforts in Burma, visit www.usaid.gov/burma.
Watch the full video of the President’s remark’s at the University of Yangon:
Last week, USAID’s Development Credit Authority and the USAID Uganda Mission released a new video that will make you rethink development. Take a look at how effective private sector partnerships can positively impact people’s lives
The floods of 2010 destroyed many people’s farms and means of income in Swat Valley of Pakistan. USAID is helping these people get back on their feet. See the full series of videos, including bee farms, medicinal herbs, fish farms, and more on the USAID Pakistan Mission’s YouTube account.
Live from the conference: Tony Blair addresses the crowd at Frontiers in Development with a message on global development in 2012. For real time conference highlights, watch our livestream of the event and follow #DevelopmentIs on Twitter.
USAID is helping Maasai women in Tanzania gain literacy and numeracy skills so that they can obtain land rights, start businesses, and become involved in local government. By 2011, more than 2,000 women had completed the program. Their new communication skills allow them to conduct business activities more easily and empower them to assert their rights. For the first time in their lives, these women are earning incomes independently through small enterprises and farming. One graduate of the program says, “It has helped me to mobilize other women because the program saw potential in us.”
Ever wonder how Gladioli bulbs can help an estimated 1,000 families start earning their living and jumpstart a fledgling flower industry in Pakistan? USAID, through the Small Grants Program and the US Ambassador’s Fund, seeks to empower grassroots organizations and community groups working to strengthen civil society in Pakistan.
The U.S. Ambassador’s Fund provides small grants to improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community level. The Fund supports high-impact, quick-implementation activities, that can be completed within one year without requiring further funding.
On this occasion, we highlight one of the results of the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund in Rawalakot, known for its dire economic situation for the 540,000 residents who until recently only planted maize and wheat.
In a strategically located valley just 120 km from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Rawalakot’s high elevation (1,615 m.) makes it ideal for growing gladioli bulbs which are increasingly becoming popular in major cities.
USAID financed the purchase of gladioli bulbs, training sessions for farmers, and consultations of an agricultural specialist to help the families grow the flowers correctly. Thanks to the project, families have increased their revenues by over 70%, with women being the main beneficiaries of the project. This project has enabled women to become salient participants in the flower industry and because of related activities involving the sale and distribution of the flower, it is estimated that many more families in surrounding communities will benefit greatly from this project. As a result of the increase in income, families are now able to invest the money into their children’s education and household expenses.