United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Type of Organization: Governmental
Home Country: United States
The United States has a long history of extending a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country. It is this caring that stands as a hallmark of the United States around the world — and shows the world our true character as a nation.
U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world. Spending less than one-half of 1 percent of the federal budget, USAID works around the world to achieve these goals.
USAID’s history goes back to the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe after World War Two and the Truman Administration’s Point Four Program. In 1961, the Foreign Assistance Act was signed into law and USAID was created by executive order.
Since that time, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.
Some of the work USAID is currently involved in:
Burma– USAID provides a wide range of training and capacity building support in most camps along the Burma -Thailand border, as well as numerousmigrant and displaced communities. USAID supports education programs for Burmese IDPs and those displaced in Thailand. It provides primary education, literacy instruction, English-language training, higher education – including university and vocational/technical training – and skills development for work. Support for education also includes teacher training and stipends for Burmese community-based organizations, assistance to develop national education plans, and advocacy for inclusive education. USAID also provides scholarships and ongoing interim education to Burmese within Burma and refugees in Thailand wishing to continue their studies. USAID gives priority to students who want to return to Burma to work for democratic principles and economic Growth.
Bangladesh– Although enrollment in primary school is estimated at 80 percent, in rural villages, enrollment can be as low as 20 percent. USAID’s pioneering work in early childhood education, including the support for 1800 pre-schools, improves school readiness to help address under-attendance, poor achievement and high dropout rates in primary school. Furthermore, USAID funded Sesame Street Television program “Sisimpur”, the most widely viewed children’s television program in Bangladesh, reaches over 7.5 million viewers weekly.
China– USAID also supports a U.S. academic institution consortium to partner U.S. and Chinese higher-education institutions to provide technical and human-capacity building expertise to address rule-of-law issues. Legal reform in China will enhance economic development, advance human rights, contribute to political reform, counter corruption, and improve China’s interactions with the international community. The consortium consists of four U.S. and two Chinese law schools working in partnership: University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; American University; Washington College of Law; China University of Political Science and Law; and South China University of Technology.
Laos– USAID aims to strengthen inclusive education in Laos at both the policy and classroom levels to ensure that children with disabilities are able to attend and achieve in school. Working with teachers and administrators in primary and preschools, the program assists the development of inclusive education resources and local expertise, strengthens community networks to support inclusive education, and promotes advocacy to increase social awareness with respect to disabilities.
Name: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Information Center U.S. Agency for International Development Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C., 20523-1000
Voice Phone: 1 (202) 712-4810