The elevation of development alongside diplomacy and defense, the continuing implementation of the USAID Forward agenda, the introduction of legislation like the Rep. Gerry Connolly’s (D-VA) Global Partnerships Act and the Rep. Ted Poe’s (R-TX) Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, and President Obama’s proposal to reform U.S. food aid are all positive signs that the reform agenda is making headway. However, the Administration and Congress must work together to institutionalize these important reforms so that progress is not lost as political winds shift in Washington.
Today’s post is the fifth and final post in a Feed the Future/Reform blog series that MFAN has been coordinating with key members of the community. Click here to read what leaders from the German Marshall Fund of the United States have to say about Feed the Future as it relates to aid and trade.
While much of the aid that the United States sends abroad directly addresses health, food and security needs, a similarly important portion of U.S. assistance benefits the environmental conservation work in developing countries. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Biodiversity Program, Sustainable Landscapes, and Adaptation Program all seek to protect the natural environment in places that, for mostly economic reasons, are under threat.
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.
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.
MFAN is thrilled to kick off a blog series on the reform aspects of Feed the Future. The first post in the series is from Mannik Sakayan, Senior Policy Analyst at Bread for the World. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as we feature posts from World Food Program USA, ActionAid, the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, and the German Marshall Fund.
“This month marks the beginning of what is sure to be a difficult and contentious year-long, and perhaps years-long, debate over U.S. spending. Foreign aid should and will be part of that discussion and cuts are certain, whether they come from the Administration or Congress. But my hope is that they will be “smart” cuts that will not minimize the goal of advancing American interests, scale back aid programs that have proven to be effective, or stifle promising new initiatives that will bring greater efficiency, accountability, and impact to that less-than-1% of the budget that is foreign aid.”
Though a sliver of our overall budget, U.S. foreign assistance delivers a real return-on-investment. The Obama administration and Congress need to support these programs and work together to make them more effective and accountable. And the American public deserves an honest debate about the importance of our foreign assistance.
“If that 1 percent was gone, the only face America would be putting to the world is one of helmets and boots on the ground,” said Sam Worthington, who heads InterAction, a coalition of U.S.-based relief groups that includes CARE and the International Rescue Committee. “It would deeply impact our image in the world and our ability to relate to other peoples.”
In the State of Union speech last week, President Obama called for the reorganization of the federal government. MFAN Principal Connie Veillette, director of CGD’s Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance, responded by posting a blog in which she asked her readers to comment on how they would reorganize the government agencies that manage foreign assistance.