“U.S. businesses understand that diplomacy and development assistance play vital roles in building economic prosperity, protecting our national security, and promoting America’s humanitarian values. The International Affairs Budget is critical to U.S. economic engagement with the world, especially at a time when there is a wide recognition of the need to boost U.S. exports to create American jobs.”
With all the talk about whether foreign assistance is achieving its intended results, recent success stories demonstrate that economic development remains the strongest foundation for advances in all other sectors, such as health, governance, education and the empowerment of minorities and women. These successful projects show how U.S. development firms lead by example, teaching entrepreneurship and efficiency and creating thriving local businesses.
Today’s post is the fourth in a Feed the Future/Reform blog series that MFAN has been coordinating with key members of the community. Click here to read the latest piece by Rachel Voss, Communications and Research Associate at the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa. Voss discusses the potential of smallholder farmers and demonstrates how the Feed the Future initiative “aims to increase food security, improve nutrition, and boost incomes of smallholder farmers by bolstering infrastructure and market access, promoting innovative partnerships, and enabling farmers to produce beyond the subsistence level,” all key elements of reform.
“In evaluating the FY2012 budget, the Majority also identified an endemic problem: misplaced priorities. The Administration is proposing dramatic increases in global health and climate change programs while cutting key programs, such as the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism partnership and the Partnership for Regional East Africa Counterterrorism – at a time when al-Qaeda affiliates in Africa set their sights on American targets, and American citizens are being captured and killed by Somali pirates.”
We Americans say we do not like foreign aid, but if you ask us what we think about vaccinations for infants in developing countries, or preventing deaths from childbirth, or teaching girls to read, or distributing seeds to farmers whose crops have been flooded, you will find that most of us support modest investments like these that can transform lives. And when natural disasters strike, in Indonesia, Haiti, or Japan, we want to help.
Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) remained above the fray, kicking off the hearing with some promising comments about the need to emphasize partnerships with the private sector and be more accountable with our aid dollars—with the ultimate goal of promoting economic growth. Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA) hit on some important reform principles both USAID and MCC have implemented into programs and policies whether those principles are about emphasizing science and technology as part of USAID Forward or embracing transparency and accountability with MCC compacts. Berman said the committee should be focused on ensuring that every tax dollar is put to best possible use but that doesn’t mean we should cut foreign assistance funding.
Today’s post is the third in a Feed the Future/Reform blog series that MFAN has been coordinating with key members of the community. Click here to see what ActionAid USA’s Director of Policy and Campaigns has to say about GAFSP and its alignment with foreign assistance reform principles.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the World Bank hosted an event, Building Capacity for Trade in Developing Countries: Fostering Public and Private Cooperation in Aid for Trade. As Tom Donohue, President of the Chamber said when he opened the afternoon’s event, “There have never been so many opportunities for business and government to break down barriers to trade as now.” Click here to read more.
Click here to read the second installment of MFAN’s blog series highlighting the reform aspects of Feed the Future, the United States Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. Feed the Future incorporates many key reform principles such as components of country ownership, strong monitoring and evaluation, and leveraging partnerships for enhanced results. In this week’s post, Rick Leach, President and CEO of World Food Program USA focuses on both the short and long-term goals for food security as well as the importance of a comprehensive approach.
The Debt Reduction Task Force urges the federal government to deal with the national debt by slashing the budget, which includes defense spending. But the importance of defense spending cuts is usually unrecognized and often overlooked. Alice M. Rivlin makes the case for cuts to the defense budget.