(H) English 10
12 March 2014
Extending a Hand with USAID
As people graduate from High school or College they are often left with a feeling of emptiness or confusion. They may ask themselves questions like what’s next? How can I reach my full potential? How can I give back to the world? Some people may go off to college, some will get jobs they love, some will get jobs they hate, and still others will join programs that give back like the Army, Peace Corps, or USAID. USAID is a volunteer program that seeks to “extend 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” ("FIS - Suppliers - Company Details”). USAID is a beneficial program that provides foreign aid in order to further develop many countries. Most people in the United States show awareness to the problems that face many people in developing countries, but do they really know the seriousness of the issue? Every year hunger alone kills more people than malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS combined. Food is something that everyone should have access, yet more than 840 million people suffer from chronic hunger. In Northville, having a toilet and access to running water is something we probably take for granted, yet “783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.”("Facts and Figures."). Adequate sanitation is such a simple commodity for people living in the United States that we often do not think about what it really means. Adequate sanitation means having access to utilities such as toilets, trashcans, and a simple and efficient method to get rid of waste, like landfills or septic tanks. The need for social action is clear and USAID does exactly that. USAID has worked tirelessly for almost fifty-three years to provide foreign aid in an attempt to fix these issues (“USAID History”).
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was founded as a direct result of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. On November 3, 1961, President Kennedy created USAID by executive order. The time during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations became known as the “decade of development.”(“USAID History”). As times change, so must our approach to fulfilling our goals. USAID is a fluid, versatile, and flexible organization set forward on fulfilling the needs of the unfortunate. Because of this, USAID shifted its focus towards a basic human needs approach in the 1970’s. The five basic needs USAID focused on were food and nutrition, population planning, health, education, and human resources development (“USAID History”). In 1974, an amendment added to the Foreign Assistance Act prohibited the assistance of foreign police and prisons; resulting in the termination of USAID’s involvement with Public Safety programs (Staats). In the early 2000’s USAID worked to collaborate with other similar organizations, like Peace corps, in order to further their mission and provide more foreign assistance (“USAID History”). USAID has come a very long way since 1961 and continues to better the lives of many. Today they operate in more than 100 countries to deliver foreign aid. (“USAID History”) USAID focuses on a wide variety of issues towards the betterment of Developing Countries. USAID has ten different sectors for foreign aid ranging from education to water sanitation to gender equality and many more. In one sector, agriculture and food security, USAID works to develop stronger seeds so that farmers can grow more produce, they provide emergency food assistance so that malnourished children can survive, and they also help farmers expand buy helping them access capital ("Agriculture and Food Security").
Another one of their sectors is education. USAID works with current teachers in developing countries to improve the reading skills in primary schools, expand access to education in regions that...
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