Noteworthy News – 12.21

This weekly posting includes key news stories and opinion pieces related to foreign assistance reform and the larger development community.

Susan Collins (R-ME) Signs on to S.1524

S.1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act, first introduced by Senators Kerry, Lugar, Menendez, and Corker has gained another Republican cosponsor. Susan Collins, the Republican Senator from Maine, signed on yesterday–bringing the total number of cosponsors up to 23, with 7 Republican Senators.

Former Majority Leader Frist: Confirm Raj Shah, finish foreign assistance reform

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) published an op-ed today in Roll Call calling for the immediate confirmation of Dr. Rajiv Shah as Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In the piece, he also calls for foreign assistance reform efforts by the Obama Administration and Congress to move forward toward a successful conclusion. The piece comes as Dr. Shah was rumored to have been meeting with Republican Senator Tom Coburn

Secretary Clinton: “…democracy and development are not three separate goals”

At Georgetown University on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech about human rights, in which she outlined the President’s agenda for a new century. She connected such universal rights to development, noting that hunger, poverty, and education are all freedoms that everyone worldwide should have access to

MFAN Partner: “More Momentum” on S.1524

Yesterday, MFAN Partner ONE highlighted the cosponsors behind S.1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act. Since its introduction to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July, the bill now has 22 cosponsors from both parties.

MFAN Partners: Afghani Anti-Poverty Advocate Says “Sign the White House Petition Today!”

When Americans think about Afghanistan, you think about more American troops and security,” she said. “But there is a lot more at stake in my country besides security: the lives of millions of children, women and men who need education, employment and good health. U.S. foreign aid has been investing in this, but it can do so much more if it is reformed so that assistance is smarter, more strategic and better coordinated. We need this in Afghanistan and around the world. Let your leaders know that you think that development is an important part of U.S. foreign policy. Please sign the petition today.”

MFAN Principal argues it’s “time to make foreign assistance work”

Yesterday in the Huffington Post, MFAN Principal and Women Thrive Worldwide co-founder and President Ritu Sharma noted the significant strides made in foreign assistance reform since President Obama took office in January 2009. These measures, she said, have laid the groundwork to make U.S. foreign assistance more efficient and effective, but more reform needs to happen before it can begin to have a real impact on the ground and improve the livelihoods of men and women worldwide.

38,495 signatures and counting…

Since its launch last week, the first-ever development community-wide petition aimed at the White House has energized groups and individuals from Camarillo, California to Branchburg, New Jersey and every city in between. The petition drive underscores the need to maintain America’s commitment to fighting poverty and disease worldwide by lending support to President Obama and the team working on the Presidential Study Directive (PSD) on Global Development Policy. The end goal: a global development strategy based on recommendations from the PSD.

Noteworthy News – 12.11

This weekly posting includes key news stories and opinion pieces related to foreign assistance reform and the larger development community.