At the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday, Secretary of State Clinton announced “a U.S. commitment of about $50 million over five years for a project aimed at reducing smoke inhalation morbidity and mortality by providing clean-cooking stoves in developing countries.” In an interview, Clinton said pollution created by basic cookstoves is a “‘cross-cutting issue’ that affects health, the environment and women’s status in much of the world.” She added, “That’s what makes it such a good subject for a coordinated approach of governments, aid organizations and the private sector.”
USAID Administrator Raj Shah participated in an Economic Empowerment lunch at CGI today where he talked about agriculture as a basic investment for fundamentally c hanging the course of poverty and improving basic human conditions. Shah acknowledged the challenges that climate change and population growth pose to agricultural development but linked the challenges to new opportunities for investing in education, new crops and technologies. Shah also discussed the Obama Administration’s Feed the Future initiative and spoke about agriculture as a pathway for progress for economic development.
Helene Gayle, President & CEO of CARE USA, a member of the MFAN network, spoke on another panel at CGI today titled Preparing Girls for the World. She addressed the role of girls’ education in breaking the chain of intergenerational poverty and said that “we have a ways to go before people realize investing in girls and women is essential for all global progress.” In his closing remarks Nick Kristof said, “What we’re looking for is not the solutions. We have the solutions. What we’re looking for is the political will.”
MFAN Co-Chair David Beckmann joined Secretary Clinton and Micheal Martin T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland to launch the 1000 Days Event: Change a Life, Change the Future campaign. “By engaging the public on the importance of investing in maternal and child nutrition, the ‘1,000 Days’ campaign has the potential to be a powerful advocacy tool,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. In her speech, Secretary Clinton spoke about delivering short term results and long term progress and better aligning our programs with country priorities and plans.
Professional Services Council President Stan Soloway authored a recent blog post titled “Reaching the Millennium Development Goals: Use All the Tools of International Development,” regarding the U.S. strategy for achieving the goals. Approximately 70 PSC member companies are engaged in international development work on behalf of USAID, the State Department and other agencies, and assist the federal government in its efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
In highlighting the important role implementers and private sector donors play in international development, Soloway says “The Obama administration’s MDG strategy prudently looks to leverage innovation, deploy new technologies and introduce ‘new business models to make aid agencies and the international development architecture more effective.’ That recognition that development is about doing business is a good first step toward a balanced, effective assistance strategy for the MDGs and beyond.”