This year, in the face of daunting challenges like global food insecurity, the climate crisis, and increasing conflict, USAID and its partners in more than 100 countries around the globe drove progress to build a freer, more equitable, and more humane world.
By embracing new and inclusive partnerships and pioneering innovative solutions, USAID helped the United States demonstrate how our shared values can advance our collective security and prosperity. The following highlights some of the progress USAID achieved through its development, humanitarian, and crisis-response work:
Responding to Humanitarian Crises
This year, USAID demonstrated American generosity as it rushed humanitarian aid to tens of millions of people adversely affected by 76 natural disasters and crises, including the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, as well as those impacted by conflicts, including in Gaza, Sudan and the South Caucasus. This life-saving humanitarian assistance included food, water, shelter, emergency healthcare, sanitation and hygiene, and critical nutrition services – all essential to saving lives and alleviating suffering for the most vulnerable.
Proving Democracy Delivers
During the first year of the Democracy Delivers Initiative, USAID continued to surge support to countries experiencing democratic openings, drawing in $110 million from private sector and philanthropic partners to support democratic reformers in delivering results for their people. Through the Democracy Delivers Initiative, USAID worked to strengthen democracy by demonstrating the tangible benefits of democracy for citizens through initiatives that provide farmers access to scarce fertilizer; make childbirth safer for expectant mothers; expand entrepreneurs’ access to training, finance, and markets; build climate resilient food systems; and help governments serve their citizens more efficiently and communicate with them more effectively.
Bolstering Ukraine’s Resilience and Recovery
As Ukraine continues to bravely fight against the Kremlin’s aggression, USAID remains committed to helping Ukraine win the peace by emerging strong and capable of continuing to advance as a sovereign, independent, democratic, and prosperous society. In 2023, USAID helped Ukraine’s economy return to growth by supporting more than 16,000 businesses that have created or retained more than 120,000 jobs, growing alternative export routes so Ukraine’s grain can continue feeding the world, and building on its groundbreaking Diia e-governance tool to further anti-corruption reforms and engage citizens in recovery efforts.
Investing in Food Security
In 2023, USAID redoubled efforts and built on progress to strengthen food security and reduce poverty and hunger. To address food insecurity exacerbated by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, USAID committed more than $14 billion in humanitarian and development assistance across more than 47 countries. Alongside the Government of Norway, USAID launched the Financing for Agricultural Small-and-Medium Enterprises in Africa (FASA) Fund to bridge the $100 billion financing gap for Africa’s small and medium agricultural businesses, so they get the investment they need to strengthen food systems. USAID also expanded the Feed the Future Innovation Labs network, drawing on the expertise of top U.S. universities and developing country research institutions to advance novel solutions.
Tackling the Climate Crisis
In the first year under USAID’s Climate Strategy, USAID partnered with more than 40 countries to speed the transition to clean energy, mobilized more than $340 million in outside public and private finance to help communities build climate resilience, and conserved 150 million acres of tropical forests – an area larger than California and Washington combined. And at COP28, USAID announced new private sector partnerships that will mobilize more than $2.3 billion in climate resilience, as well as investments in climate smart agriculture, climate action in cities, and the world’s first privately run credit guarantor dedicated to climate solutions in developing countries.
Expanding USAID’s Reach in the Indo-Pacific
In 2023, USAID expanded its development footprint in the Indo-Pacific by opening the USAID/Pacific Islands Mission in Fiji; elevating its presence in Papua New Guinea to a Country Representative Office; and announcing plans to launch a USAID Country Office in the Republic of Maldives. USAID’s increased presence will enhance its partnerships with individual governments, strengthen people-to-people ties, and bolster its commitment to make an enduring positive impact across the diverse countries in the region. These milestones underscore the United States’ commitment to advance a more resilient, independent Indo-Pacific region.
Strengthening Global Health Security and Primary Care
As the world emerged from the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID concluded the U.S. Government’s Initiative for Global Vaccine Access – a historic effort that committed $1.8 billion in more than 120 partner countries to help them overcome challenges to COVID-19 vaccine delivery and uptake, and laid the foundation for stronger, more robust health systems. This year, USAID built on those efforts by expanding our global health security investments into more than 50 partner countries to further bolster the world’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to future infectious disease threats. To get survival rates for children under five and women under 50 back to better than pre-pandemic rates by 2025, USAID put a renewed focus on primary health care delivery through the launch of Primary Impact in an initial seven focus countries in Africa and Asia.
Reinforcing Inclusive Development
This year, USAID launched its first LGBTQI+ Inclusive Development Policy, which builds on the Agency’s vision of a world where LGBTQI+ individuals are able to live with dignity and free from all forms of violence, discrimination, stigma, and criminalization. Recognizing that locally-led, LGBTQI+ inclusive development strengthens livelihoods, economies, and democracies, the Policy provides a blueprint for integrating LGBTQI+ individuals in USAID policy and programming.
Promoting Stability and Women’s Role in Peace and Security
In March, USAID began implementation of the 10-year plans developed under the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability, working collaboratively with partners to align diplomacy, development, and security-sector engagement to prevent violence and advance stability, critical to achieving lasting peace. In 2023, USAID reaffirmed its commitment to reducing barriers to the political empowerment of women and girls by building a pipeline of women leaders and facilitating their safe and meaningful participation in politics and public life through the implementation of the U.S. Strategy and National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security in nine partner countries.