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.
Click here to read a guest blog post by Col. Greg Hermsmeyer, USAF (ret.) on the important role of the U.S. Institute of Peace. He says, “I have worked on the defense and civilian sides of international affairs and know from firsthand experience that USIP is not just another “think tank.” The Institute and its cadre of dedicated peace-builders provide a critical bridge between the military—where I served for 21 years—and the non-military sectors and is a vital national security resource.”
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.
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.
Tuesday, March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, but MFAN Partner Women Thrive Worldwide is drawing attention to the importance of women’s empowerment a few days early. Tomorrow morning they will have their 3rd annual International Women’s Day breakfast as the community takes stock of the progress made in agricultural development and food security and explores important questions for charting a path forward for gender equality.
In today’s The Hill, Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a longtime member of the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense and State and Foreign Operations, argues that reducing U.S. foreign assistance will make America less safe.
Before US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah uttered the first word of his National Institutes of Health (NIH) Barmes Lecture today, NIH Director Francis Collins called attention to the symbolism of the moment: He said it marked the first time that a sitting USAID leader had spoken at NIH. But Shah had more than symbolism in mind.
For the United States, the more donors with whom we can collaborate to address the some of the world’s most intractable problems, the more we advance our national interests and provide paths out of poverty. In Brazil, we have a partner who shares our commitment to advancing global development; and who has come up with effective and innovative approaches to tackling some of the very same challenges facing developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa.
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.