As the international community gears up to tackle the emerging challenges of 2018, two enduring problems must first be addressed: ongoing violent conflicts and subsequent humanitarian emergencies. Since 2010, state-on-state conflict has increased by 60 percent, and conflict within countries has increased by 125 percent. As a result of this dangerous trend, the number of people forced to flee their homes is at an all-time high since World War II.
For nearly a decade, EDC’s Akazi Kanoze projects have been helping the Government of Rwanda improve opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people who are coming of age during the country’s economic transition. Akazi Kanoze originally delivered livelihood and work-readiness trainings for out-of-school youth, but it was so successful that the program’s core approach — which included Work Ready Now! and partnerships with local employers — has been scaled up nationally, reaching over 92,000 high school and TVET students each year.
With 90 percent of people in the developing world living without access to the internet , many of the problems rural communities face here at home are also mirrored overseas. Luckily, the Administration is working to expand internet connectivity both at home and abroad, which will not only benefit American farmers and businesses, but spur economic growth and development in some of the world’s poorest countries.
In El Salvador, Lula Mena’s hand-made jewelry business is thriving. Thanks to critical business training and export assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Lula now exports her goods to eight countries. But the impact of Lula’s success extends far beyond her own family.
For the women of the Maasai communities, life may be simple, but it’s far from easy. According to Teresia, one of the senior Maasai “mamas,” the greatest challenge facing her boma “was the darkness in our houses” because without electricity, “you can’t see anything at night.” Across sub-Saharan Africa, two out of three people live off the electrical grid – that’s 70 percent of the entire population, or 600 million people.
With mounting challenges overseas– from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, to devastating famines, to tension with North Korea – this year has shown us that American global leadership is more important now than ever before. And as the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up our top ten blogs of 2017 – the inspiring stories of U.S. foreign assistance, it’s impact around the world and here at home.
A fourth-grader at the Malamawa Primary School in northwest Nigeria, Hadiza Hamza hopes to become a teacher one day. Eager to learn how to read and write, Hamza asked her father to enroll her in the six month jump-start program: the Northern Education Initiative Plus (NEI+). The literacy program, established in 2015, made possible by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Creative Associates International has opened up a world of possibility for Hamza and others like her.
2017 brought a steady stream of challenges and changes to U.S. foreign policy and development assistance – from a new Administration taking the reins, to a budget proposal that sent shockwaves through Washington, to a steady drumbeat of support for American global leadership. We’ve gathered 12 of the top stories from the past year – one from each month – that you won’t want to miss.
In Gieta, a town in Northwest Tanzania, Bi Mariam Masasi Willison and her husband recently celebrated their healthy daughter Elizabeth’s first birthday — a time of joy, but also relief for the new parents. A few years ago, Mariam gave birth to a child who fell ill shortly after birth and passed away. Luckily, this time around, things went differently — with some help from Pact and USAID.
At the heart of USAID Administrator Mark Green’s vision for the agency is “to end the need for its existence,” and a desire to transition countries that may no longer need development assistance to a new relationship with the United States. But against the backdrop of the proposed 32% cut to the International Affairs Budget, there have been some concerns that “transitions” could serve as a cover for cutting aid budgets and closing missions.