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Definition: U.S. Agency for International Development – USAID
USAID is an independent government agency that provides assistance to other countries to help them recover from disaster, to overcome poverty and engage in democratic reforms. The types of assistance provided by USAID include disaster relief, poverty relief, socio economic development, environment, education training, health and humanitarian assistance.
USAID was established in 1961 by the then President John F. Kennedy. It was formed with a mission to eradicate extreme poverty and to promote resilient and democratic societies while advancing the political and economic interests of the United States. Headquartered in Washington D.C, USAID works in around 100 developing countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, and Europe. It partners with private voluntary organizations, foreign governments, international organizations etc. in order to implement programs that include transition initiatives, civilian response programs, conflict management, cooperative development and research (CDR) programs, water, gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In FY2016 the estimated budget of USAID is around $22.3 billion and the funding will be used in the below areas
Prevent Child Deaths
Food security and Reduce hunger
Democracy and Human Rights
Promote economic growth in Central America
Connect and Empower Africa
Science & Technology, Innovation
Rebalance Asia Pacific region
Assist victims of conflict, natural disaster, forced migration
Food Aid Reform
Support on-going operations
USAID has often been criticized for its programs have been used to achieve political goals in countries which are hostile towards US, for providing contracts to inefficient contractors at inflated costs, its money being used for religious activities and renouncing terrorism.