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11. May 11

BiH - an example country of USAID's best cooperation with other countries

Allan Reed, a director of the American agency for international development USAID in BiH, had a lecture for the AUBIH students in the Bosnian Culture Center in Tuzla.

The lecture was held on the occasion of the 15 years of the USAID mission in BiH. Recently, USAID stopped implementing infrastructural projects, and implements only those aimed at improvement of democratic rights and freedoms, economic reforms – BiH being the country example in which USAID realizes its best cooperation with other countries: Sweden, Norway, Germany and Holland. This was emphasized during the lecture by Allan Reed, a director of the American agency for international development USAID in BiH.

After an introduction, the panel was formed which was facilitated by the AUBIH president Mr. Denis Prcić.

Considering his future plans, Mr. Reed said that he was going to stay in BiH until his retirement.

“I like the people and their mentality. BiH has achieved the great progress during the last years with regard to reconstruction of the country, education of the young and it is the best country I have ever been on my mission”, said Allan Reed.

Mr. Reed told the students about the USAID history, emphasizing that USAID is an independent agency of the US federal government that operates in 5 regions across the world: Asia, Latin America, Europe and Euro Asia, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. USAID was established in 1961 by the president Kennedy, with the aim at offering economic, developmental and humanitarian aid in accordance with the US foreign policy, especially helping people who struggle for better life, recover from natural and other disasters or just want to live in a free, democratic country. Furthermore, he said that annually the US allocates 1% of the budget for their support to different parts of the world.

Mr. Allan Reed gained his great experience in Sudan where he also met his wife. His mission there was during the first civil war, after which he made a documentary film about Sudan rebels. The next invitation from Sudan came, based on his experience, soon before the referendum in south Sudan, where he stayed form October 2010 until January 2011. In his speech Reed stated that he had been fascinated with the fact that 98,6% of the south Sudan population had taken part in the referendum, and 99% of them voted for independency. Some of them had walked for several days because of transport infrastructure lack. He also added that on 9th June this year South Sudan should be formally pronounced the independent country.

It could be learned in the course of Mr. Reed’s lecture that 85% of South Sudan population is illiterate. The students were shown a ballot paper for the illiterate, on which one could see highly raised hand waving and representing an option for independency while on the other one were shaking hands representing option for staying in a joint county.

The AUBIH students were really interested in the lecture, at the end of which they asked several questions in regard to messages addressed to the young in BiH by Mr. Reed, as well as in regarding to his experiences in other countries he had been on mission.