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USAID/ASHA: Improving lives together through Innovation

profiles | Mar 09, 2017

For more than a decade, USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) has been one of the Himalayan Cataract Project’s most important and reliable funding partners.

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That arm of USAID provides assistance to schools, libraries, and medical centers outside the United States that reflect the best of American ideas and practices. The office was created in 1947, and was incorporated into the new USAID agency in 1961 by John F. Kennedy’s signature Foreign Assistance Act. Since its inception, its record of contributing to vibrant networks of civil society institutions has extended through 25 U.S. Congresses and 17 presidential administrations. USAID/ASHA currently manages a worldwide portfolio of approximately 110 awards — including projects at HCP’s teaching hospitals in Nepal and Ghana.

USAID/ASHA strengthens the impact of HCP programs through supporting innovative, environmentally sound infrastructure projects that generate income, save money through efficiency, and provide space to support our mission of treating more patients and training future eye care leaders. With support form USAID/ASHA and other cost sharing partners, we have developed innovative eye centers in Nepal and Ghana incorporating renewable energy projects and non-incinerator medical waste management systems. We have also developed a Refractive Surgery Unit in Nepal.

Since 2003, USAID/ASHA has contributed more than $9 Million USD towards projects at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Additional partners on these projects include The Fred Hollows Foundation, London Vision Clinic Foundation, University of Utah’s John A Moran Eye Center, LDS Humanitarian Division, Orbis International and Helen Keller International.

There is no escaping our obligations: our moral obligations as a wise leader and good neighbor in the interdependent community of free nations – our economic obligations as the wealthiest people in a world of largely poor people, as a nation no longer dependent upon the loans from abroad that once helped us develop our own economy – and our political obligations as the single largest counter to the adversaries of freedom. – John F. Kennedy

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