The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States Government agency primarily
responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. Responding to President Barack Obama's pledge in his 2013 State of the
Union Address to "join with our allies to eradicate extreme poverty in the next two decades," USAID has adopted as its
mission statement "to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing the
security and prosperity of the United States." USAID operates in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
President John F. Kennedy created USAID from its predecessor agencies in 1961 by executive order. USAID's programs
are authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act, which the Congress supplements through directions in
annual funding appropriation acts and other legislation. Although technically an independent federal agency, USAID
operates subject to the foreign policy guidance of the President, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council.