USAID: Expanding democracy and improving lives
Assisting with disaster recovery and helping to build up Third World countries are both part of USAID's goals and serve well to remind us of the United States' heritage of global giving and support. But this foreign assistance also has the purpos...
Assisting with disaster recovery and helping to build up Third World countries are both part of USAID's goals and serve well to remind us of the United States' heritage of global giving and support. But this foreign assistance also has the purpose of furthering America's foreign policy interests by expanding democracy and free markets, and at the same time, 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.
The agency's history goes back to the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe after World War II 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.
USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the secretary of state. USAID work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, and Democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. USAID provides assistance in five regions of the world:
n Sub-Saharan Africa.
n Latin America and the Caribbean.
n Europe and Eurasia.
n The Middle East.
Based in Washington, USAID's strength is its field offices around the world, working in close partnership with private voluntary organizations, indigenous organizations, universities, American businesses, international agencies, other governments and other U.S. government agencies. USAID has working relationships with more than 3,500 American companies and more than 300 U.S.-based private voluntary organizations.