On his blog earlier today, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein posted a piece about five ways foreign aid could be improved to cost less and be more effective. After establishing that foreign aid makes up just less than 1 percent of the federal budget, Klein writes, “But even though we’re actually spending less than Americans think we should, the perception that we massively overspend makes it easier for politicians to slash foreign aid whenever they need to make some budget cuts.”
News Clips 5.13.2011 Note: You can sign up to receive full text of these articles by clicking here. Today’s Headline: See our Twitter feed @ModernizeAid for live tweets from yesterday’s overflow event for the newly-formed Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance. Commentary Sen. Lugar Raises Afghan Mission Questions (NPR Morning Edition, May 13) INSKEEP: Of course, since bin … Continue reading MFAN’s Daily News Clips
News Clips 5.12.2011 Note: You can sign up to receive full text of these articles by clicking here. Today’s Headline: We commend Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Adam Smith (D-WA) for launching the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance. The Caucus is the first of its kind to focus solely on reforming foreign assistance to maximize … Continue reading MFAN’s Daily News Clips
News Clips 5.11.2011 Note: You can sign up to receive full text of these articles by clicking here. Today’s Headline: Tomorrow, Reps. Crenshaw and Smith will launch the newly-formed Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance at an event featuring USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and a panel of other leading development community voices. For more information, click here. … Continue reading MFAN’s Daily News Clips
News Clips 5.10.2011 Note: You can sign up to receive full text of these articles by clicking here. Today’s Headline: Margaret C. Sullivan will join USAID as Chief of Staff and a principal advisor to Administrator Raj Shah. As Chief of Staff, Sullivan will report directly to the administrator, facilitate and coordinate overall Agency operations, and … Continue reading MFAN’s Daily News Clips
News Clips 5.9.2011 Note: You can sign up to receive full text of these articles by clicking here. Today’s Headline: In the below article, Mary Beth Sheridan reports on the Obama administration’s decision over the weekend to allow for $1 billion in debt relief for Egypt—a step MFAN recommends in its Middle East white paper as … Continue reading MFAN’s Daily News Clips
“Instead of arbitrarily slashing effective development assistance programs, lawmakers should work together across the aisle to maintain the positive reform trend of the past decade. At a time of huge global challenges that defy short-sighted solutions, we must make sure we are using our foreign assistance programs to drive the best results possible for the people we are trying to help and the taxpayers who support these efforts.”
In the aftermath of significant cuts to the international affairs budget, and as policymakers work to reorient U.S. foreign policy in a tumultuous Middle East and North Africa, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) has released a new paper arguing for dramatic changes in the way the U.S. develops and implements foreign assistance programs in the region.
The significant cuts to U.S. foreign assistance announced as part of the FY11 budget agreement make it imperative that foreign assistance reform become a priority, so that we can get the most out of fewer resources for alleviating poverty, eradicating disease, and forging sustainable economic growth in developing countries.
As Congress begins debate this week on funding the government for the remainder of 2011, we support current spending levels in the international affairs budget. Foreign assistance is not a nice-to-have perk in a world where complex challenges defy narrow solutions; it is a must-have pillar of our foreign policy alongside diplomacy and defense. In addition, now more than ever, foreign assistance reform must move forward, in order to make sure we can get the most out of every dollar we spend on development.