The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an arm of the U.S. government that extends assistance to foreign nations. The agency provides non-military aid. The United States aims at improving lives of people in developing countries through which America’s foreign policy interests are advanced and democracy and free markets are expanded.
The USAID is granted around 0.5% of the federal budget to help people recouping after a disaster, struggling to live a better life, eradicating poverty, or establishing democracy.
The USAID was created in 1961 after the Foreign Assistance Act became law. It functions as an independent federal agency and is guided by the U.S. Secretary of State. It is headquartered at Washington D.C. and provides assistance in the following five regions around the world:
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Europe and Eurasia
- The Middle East
An Administrator and Deputy Administrator head the USAID. They are both appointed by the U.S. President upon confirmation from the U.S. Senate.
The USAID has offices worldwide. It works closely in conjunction with 3500 U.S. companies and over 300 U.S. based private voluntary organizations. USAID’s foreign offices are called “missions.” The missions are staffed by Foreign Service officers (FSOs), Personal Services Contractors (PSCs), Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and civil service employees.