The U.S. Agency for International Development turns 50 today.
President John Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The agency officially opened its doors on November 3, 1961.
An independent federal agency, USAID receives overall foreign policy guidance from the United States Secretary of State and seeks to extend a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country.
The agency released this video earlier this year in celebration of its 50th anniversary:
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates congratulates the agency:
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recognizes USAID on its birthday:
Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary and daughter of a former USAID administrator, congratulates USAID on 50 years of reducing poverty and increasing opportunity around the world: