USAID has played an imperative role in the successes and milestones we have reached today in global development. USAID operates in over 100 countries promoting all aspects of development including education, human rights, water/sanitation and gender equality. Making up less than one percent of the United States federal budget, the accomplishments made are truly life changing and inspirational.
1. Broad economic growth and trade:
The global economic crisis has stagnated growth world wide.Three quarters of the world's poor do not have a bank account and lack access to capital means. USAID creates opportunities for impoverished families to raise their living standards, and provides countries with the resources needed to expand access to basic services. In the last 12 years, they have mobilized 2.3 billion dollars in private financing for over 100,000 entrepreneurs around the world.
2. Promoting human rights:
With rampant corruption and unaccountability, poor states around the world are unable to obtain effective government institutions. 30-40 percent of countries with weak rule of law have much higher risk of civil war and extreme violence. By helping countries protect basic human rights, conflict becomes more preventable and economic growth rises.USAID has provided training for more than 9800 domestic election observers and officials in Tunisia and Egypt, gave voter and civic education to more than 6.5 million people, expanding political participation.
3. Improving global health:
USAID puts their efforts towards, lowering child mortality rates, improving maternal care, preventing HIV/AIDS, and tackling life threatening disease. Child mortality rates around the world have declined 70 percent in the past 50 years and around 50 million children were saved in the past 20 years. A large part of these numbers are due to USAID programs including low cost life saving technologies and family planning programs.
Education is key for a more productive and sustainable way of life. An individuals earnings increase by ten percent with every year of school completed. Women with more developed education have healthier children. With increasing average levels of education by one year a country can adds half a percentage of GDP growth creating a stronger and more productive economy. USAID has helped develop greater education institutions in 77 countries, educated thousands of physicians and economists as well as creating better access to schooling for millions.
5. Gender equality:
In the agriculture sector, women comprise of more than 40 percent of the labor force, but only represent between 3 to 20 percent. Even though women represent half of the world's population, they hold less than 20 percent of the world's careers legislation. Women's involvement in the world is imperative to the growth and success of any nation. Educating and providing equal opportunities for women will greatly increase development and promote long term sustainability. USAID has released a Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy which significantly strengthens support for women and young girls. Under this policy, there will be a focus on protecting women from violence and abuse, and increasing women's participation in decision making, mainly in peace processes.