The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. With a budget of over $27 billion, USAID is one of the largest official aid agencies in the world and accounts for more than half of all U.S. foreign assistance—the highest in the world in absolute dollar terms.
USAID is organized around country development programs managed by resident USAID offices in developing countries (“USAID missions”), supported by USAID’s global headquarters in Washington, DC. USAID’s work is guided by the following four goals:
- End extreme poverty
- Promote resilient, democratic societies
- advance U.S. national security and economic prosperity
- demonstrate American generosity
USAID works in over 100 countries around the world to achieve these goals. Its work is focused on the following areas:
- Agriculture and food security
- Humanitarian assistance
- Natural resources management
- Peace and security
- Private sector development
- Rule of law
- Science, technology, and innovation
- Social inclusion
- Trade and investment
USAID is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global environmental organization that works to conserve nature and promote sustainable development. USAID’s membership in IUCN allows it to collaborate with other organizations on conservation and development projects around the world.
Some of the specific ways that USAID works with IUCN include:
- Supporting the development and implementation of conservation policies and programs
- Providing financial and technical assistance to conservation projects
- Raising awareness about conservation issues
- Promoting the use of sustainable practices
USAID’s work with IUCN is helping to protect the world’s natural resources and ensure that development is sustainable.