January 10, 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.
MFAN’s widely-endorsed Principles for Strategic Transitions from Development Aid call for a responsible approach to transitioning countries from aid to other forms of partnership with the United States. The diverse group of signatories includes three bipartisan former Members of Congress and three former USAID Administrators – as well as implementing NGOs, advocacy coalitions, private sector groups, and faith-based organizations. The Trump Administration’s first National Security Strategy reiterates USAID Administrator Mark Green’s stated goal of ending the need for foreign aid. The broad support for MFAN’s transition principles demonstrates the commitment from the development community to remain actively engaged and ensure countries are empowered to drive their own development and not prematurely cut off of assistance.
Thank you to our network members and community partners for supporting this effort to ensure policies for transitions are rooted in aid effectiveness. The seven principles call for all development programs and strategic transition policies to: advance country ownership; increase transparency and accountability; build local capacity; and mobilize domestic resources for development. These principles align with MFAN’s core values and the Guiding Principles for Effective Foreign Assistance which garnered over 170 endorsements this fall. With the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request forthcoming, MFAN will continue to urge Congressional and community consultation on strategic transitions, the State Department and USAID redesign process, and needed staffing and resources.
Adherence to these principles will ensure the sustainability of U.S. development investments by aligning and supporting local and U.S. interests. We urge the Administration and Congress to adopt these principles as they work to support partner countries’ journeys from aid to broader forms of collaboration with the United States.