May 14, 2018 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Tessie San Martin, and Connie Veillette.
On Thursday May 10th, MFAN Co-Chair and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow George Ingram testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) on development finance. George’s testimony focused on how to strengthen the bipartisan, bicameral Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act or BUILD Act (S.2463/H.R.5105), which would enhance U.S. development finance tools by creating a new Development Finance Corporation (DFC). OPIC President and CEO Ray Washburne and Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at CSIS, also testified.
In his oral statement, George highlighted four specific areas where the legislation could be strengthened:
- Clarify the new DFC’s development mission by defining the scope of its development mandate;
- Ensure the DFC is accountable by requiring compliance with transparency, monitoring, and evaluation standards outlined in the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act;
- Mandate a Chief Development Officer for the DFC to oversee the development mandate and facilitate strong coordination with USAID; and
- Keep the Private Capital and Microenterprise Office at USAID as it provides essential private sector technical expertise to USAID missions and for USAID’s work to build create business-friendly environments, which in turn will enable the long-term success of the DFC.
The BUILD Act is sponsored by SFRC Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); and the House companion bill, which recently passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is sponsored by Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Adam Smith (D- WA). MFAN looks forward to continuing to work with the sponsors to improve U.S. development finance capabilities through this legislation. While George testified in his individual capacity, he echoed many of the points MFAN highlighted in a public statement following introduction.
George’s full written testimony is available here.