During his time as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry (D-MA) became a vocal proponent for effective foreign assistance. As his confirmation hearing to become the next Secretary of State gets underway, we wanted to take a moment to look back on some supportive statements made by Chairman Kerry over the last four years. We hope that Kerry will continue to hold onto his support for foreign assistance and the International Affairs account and look forward to seeing what his leadership may bring for U.S. development efforts.
Continuing coverage of the 40 Under 40 Development Leaders in DC list, Devex featured Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer Steve Feldstein. The profile acknowledges Feldstein’s contribution to the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S.1524)—the reform bill aimed at strengthening USAID—that was sponsored by Chairman Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Lugar (R-IN), as well as his recent work on Haiti reconstruction. Check out the full article here.
However, supporters of a foreign aid overhaul in the development community remain hopeful that with the completion of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review in the coming weeks, the administration will step up its engagement with Capitol Hill.
“Today, Pakistanis are far more mistrustful of U.S. motives for giving aid. Consider, for instance, these quite typical newspaper headlines in Pakistan: “U.S. pilots fly Pakistan flood aid to win hearts and minds,” reported the Dawn newspaper on August 10th. “$224 million pledged to win ‘hearts, minds” said the Nation’s headline on August 24th. Rarely is U.S. aid mentioned in a newspaper article without the term “hearts and minds” right alongside it.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry yesterday released a press release expressing his enthusiasm for President Obama’s new development policy, calling it “a comprehensive development policy based on measurable outcomes, country ownership, sustainable economic growth and multilateralism – a policy that will build capacity in the developing world, not dependence.”
On Wednesday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah visited Pakistan to witness the damage caused by severe flooding. On USAID’s Impact Blog, Shah described his view from the helicopter: “As far as the eye could see, foundations and buttresses supported nonexistent houses and bridges, power lines lay hopelessly tangled on the ground, and roads destroyed and washed … Continue reading Shah Visits Floods in Pakistan
“Absent direct, personal intervention by President Obama to define his own vision of aid reform and to take the actions needed to enforce the reforms, the stalemate will continue, and plans to strengthen the third D will suffer.”
Congress is driving the reassessment of development policy already under way with a series of legislative initiatives from Berman and the two leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and top Republican Richard G. Lugar of Indiana. But before progressing further, these lawmakers and development officials are waiting for the White House to deliver its vision for development…
MFAN commends President Obama for showing leadership on development with his statement at the G8/G20 Summit in Toronto.
As a network, we are prepared to bring our collective substantive and operational expertise to bear to help the PPL create innovative solutions for our greatest development challenges.