Wednesday, April 30, 2014
2014 is a pivotal year for Afghanistan as the country navigates a series of three transitions: the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history; the completion of the security transition, including the withdrawal of a majority of international troops; and the continuing effort to reduce Afghanistan’s reliance on international aid by facilitating private sector-led economic growth. This is a critical moment in Afghanistan’s history, and USAID is working with the Afghan people and our international partners to do all we can to ensure these transitions go as smoothly as possible, and that Afghanistan emerges as a stable country on a path toward self-sufficiency.
Nowhere in the world is development such an important part of U.S. engagement efforts as it is in Africa, and the changing tide on the continent requires a new style of engagement. Today, Africans are the architects of their development, not just beneficiaries. Donors support their plans, they do not dictate them. Citizens demand democracy, not autocracy, and they are seizing the opportunities that come with better education, better health, and better public services.
Alongside the investments the United States has already made in the Middle East and North Africa, the President’s FY 2015 budget request ensures USAID programs will continue to support the needs and aspirations of the region’s people during this critical period of change. Our continued engagement with the people of the region serves as the foundation of our partnership with the countries of the region and will allow us to contribute to lasting growth, prosperity and peace.
As President Obama said in the 2013 State of the Union address, “We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all—not only because it creates new markets, more stable order in certain regions of the world, but also because it’s the right thing to do.”
As we step forward to answer the President’s call with renewed energy and focus, we remain committed to engaging the American people and serving their interests by leading the world to end extreme poverty.
For the past 56 years, we have partnered with the Government of Morocco to build a strong bilateral relationship that focuses on promoting economic growth, improving educational opportunities and strengthening the effectiveness of civil society’s political engagement. During this time, we also have worked together to make substantial improvements in the lives of everyday Moroccan citizens, including significantly improving maternal and child health, constructing two major dams, transforming thousands of semi-arid acres into productive agricultural use, and developing the microfinance sector in Morocco through high profile credit guarantees. We are proud and remain committed to this partnership, which is why in 2013, USAID and the Government of Morocco completed a new five-year Country Development Cooperation Strategy, or CDCS, that affirms this commitment.
Even though we work far from home, our work continues to realize benefits for our home: for opportunities we open for American businesses, the skills of our young people we help build, and the threats to our security that we help prevent. For less than one percent of the federal budget, we are delivering results that shape a more secure and prosperous future for the American people and the world.
As Administrator Rajiv Shah, who testified before you earlier today has stated our mission across the globe is to partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. Our best partners in this effort are democratic societies – mature governments, active civil societies and dynamic private sectors – because their commitment to growing their economies and investing in their people makes our investments go farther. Increasingly, we have such partners in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where sensible policies and smart donor investments have helped fuel impressive social, political and economic progress.
This is an unprecedented moment for our nation—one where we can again lead the world in achieving goals once deemed too ambitious, too dangerous, or too complex. In doing so, we can protect our national security and spur economic growth. But above all, we can express the generosity and goodwill that unite us as a people.
As President Obama said in the 2013 State of the Union address, “We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all—not only because it creates new markets, more stable order in certain regions of the world, but also because it’s the right thing to do.” As we step forward to answer the President’s call with renewed energy and focus, we remain committed to engaging the American people and serving their interests by leading the world to end extreme poverty.
Four years ago, President Obama set forth a new vision of a results-driven USAID that would lead the world in development. We have since risen to this challenge, pioneering a new model of development that brings a greater emphasis on partnerships, innovation, and results. We are guided in these efforts by a new mission statement: we partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity.
Our work in Afghanistan is emblematic of our agency’s overall mission: USAID partners to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity. USAID’s role in Afghanistan is to promote a stable, inclusive and increasingly prosperous country. During the past decade, Afghanistan has made remarkable development gains across multiple sectors, thanks to the whole-of-government efforts of the United States, along with our international partners and the Afghan people.
Last updated: March 27, 2015