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U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. Established in 1961, its mission is to promote and support social and economic development in foreign countries, especially in cases of extreme poverty. The agency works to enhance global security, expand democracy and contribute to world prosperity.


The phonetics for the keyword would be: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – “You-Ess Agency for International Development (You-Ess-Ay-Eye-Dee)”

Key Takeaways

  1. Humanitarian and Development Focus: USAID, an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, aims to offer assistance to countries struggling with the aftermath of disasters, trying to escape poverty, or undergoing democratic transitions. It plays a critical role in promoting global health, education, economic prosperity, and agricultural development.
  2. Global Influence: Operating in over 100 countries worldwide, USAID works closely with local leaders and communities to foster understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and other nations. Its activities contribute significantly to the commonly perceived image of the United States as a significant global collaborator.
  3. Partnership and Collaboration: USAID collaborates with non-governmental organizations, private corporations and businesses, charities, academic institutions, and international bodies. This extensive network helps to increase the breadth, effectiveness, and sustainability of its initiatives. They believe in working together with local, national, and global partners to achieve their goals.


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) holds significant importance in the business/finance sector because it plays a primary role in administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance, which directly impacts international economics and global trade relations. With an operating budget of over $27 billion, the agency strategically invests in economic, development, and humanitarian efforts in more than 100 countries. These initiatives stimulate economic growth, create opportunities for international trade and business operations, and promote global collaboration. As such, its efforts ripple through several sectors, influencing international commerce, trade policy, and global business environments. Therefore, understanding USAID’s role and functions is crucial for global businesses and investors.


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a government agency whose primary purpose is to administer civilian foreign aid and development assistance. Established in 1961 by President Kennedy, it espouses the principle that “our nation’s security and prosperity are inextricably linked with the security and prosperity of people everywhere”. In other words, by furthering development and humanitarian aid in economically disadvantaged regions, it not only helps alleviate suffering and poverty, but also enhances global stability and prosperity, ultimately benefiting the United States.USAID serves numerous purposes. One is to provide disaster relief in situations of crisis, and another is to proffer developmental aid in areas where economic or societal conditions are bleak. The department invests in areas such as agricultural development to ensure food security, global health to combat diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, and education to equip young people with knowledge and skills. Additionally, it contributes to initiatives to support democratic values and improve governance in other nations. Per the belief that fostering growth, good governance, and societal health in other countries boosts the world’s overall prosperity, including America’s, USAID operates in over 100 countries globally.


1. USAID’s Health Programs in Afghanistan: Since 2002, USAID has provided more than $1.8 billion in health assistance to strengthen Afghanistan’s health sector, helping to reduce maternal and child mortality rates by more than half. The programs aim to provide basic healthcare services, train healthcare providers, and increase critical health infrastructure across the country.2. USAID’s Agricultural and Food Security Initiatives in Africa: USAID’S Feed the Future initiative works in 12 focus countries across Africa to address the root causes of poverty and hunger. In 2020 alone, the initiative helped more than 5.3 million people in African countries improve their agricultural practices, increase incomes, and improve nutrition.3. USAID’s Assistance with Emergency Disasters: USAID also provides humanitarian assistance during global crises and emergencies. For example, after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, USAID played a substantial role in relief, recovery, and long-term rebuilding efforts. More recently, in 2020, they provided over $20 million in assistance to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in various countries across the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)?

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a federal agency that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.

When was the USAID founded?

The U.S. Agency for International Development was founded on November 3, 1961.

What is the mandate of the USAID?

The USAID’s mandate is to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by providing economic, development, and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Who oversees the USAID?

The U.S. Agency for International Development is overseen by the United States Secretary of State.

Where does USAID operate?

USAID operates in over 100 countries worldwide, in regions such as Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

What kind of projects does USAID undertake?

USAID projects cover a variety of sectors including healthcare, economic development, disaster relief, climate change, education and more.

How is USAID’s performance measured?

USAID’s performance is measured by tracking strategic objectives, results, and societal changes. The agency utilizes data, feedback, and evaluations to ensure effective performance.

Can private businesses work with USAID?

Yes, private businesses can partner with USAID through several avenues, like partnerships for global health, financial sector and enterprise development, clean energy projects, and more, to contribute to global development objectives.

What’s the annual budget of USAID?

The budget of the USAID fluctuates yearly and is subject to the approval of the U.S. Congress. It typically amounts to billions of dollars annually.

How does USAID aid in times of disaster?

In times of disaster, USAID responds by providing humanitarian assistance. This includes emergency healthcare, food, water, shelter and other basic needs to affected regions. The agency also helps in long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Related Finance Terms

  • Foreign Aid
  • Development Assistance
  • Global Health Programs
  • Disaster Relief
  • Economic Growth Services

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