Congressional Testimony

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Madam Chairwoman and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify this morning. My name is Mauricio Vera and I am the Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). I also currently serve as the Chair of the Federal OSDBU Directors Interagency Council, and it is in that capacity, not as a representative of USAID, that I was invited to speak.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Long-term underdevelopment throughout Yemen has resulted in chronic poverty, poor nutrition, and sub-standard living conditions, particularly related to food insecurity and limited water supplies. The recent political upheaval has resulted in a dire economic situation and increased humanitarian needs. Access to water is another key challenge, and fuel shortages have worsened the situation because it renders many wells inoperable. The political situation has exacerbated these underlying challenges. The near total breakdown of government services outside Sana'a has likewise heightened security and access problems for both the U.S. Government and our international partners in the most affected areas. Political violence has displaced 60,000-70,000 Yemenis from their homes since February, primarily in the south. This is in addition to the internally displaced people (IDPs) and conflict-affected Yeminis connected to the ongoing conflict in the north. Despite security challenges and political turmoil, the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) programs continue to operate throughout the country. Most local field offices and teams are able to operate, managing and monitoring programs in some of the most volatile areas of the country.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

 

For over 57 years, the USAID Food for Peace program has allowed the United States to live up to our historic mission to help alleviate hunger around the world. With Congress's assistance, we have fed billions of the world's neediest people - perhaps the largest and longest-running expression of humanity ever seen in the world. Some of the countries that have received Title II assistance have become self-sufficient or even food exporters and international donors themselves. While we can look back on this unique American achievement with pride, we must also look forward and address the challenges facing us in this century. There are many. Under the Food for Peace Act, USAID has responsibility to administer Titles II, III, and V of the Trade portion of the Farm Bill. The Office of Food for Peace is tasked with managing programs under Title II of the Food for Peace Act, which consists of donating U.S. agricultural goods for emergency relief and development. It is administered through grants to U.S. nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations World Food Program.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chairman Chabot, Ranking Member Ackerman, distinguished members of the Committee:

Thank you for inviting me to testify today on the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) role in supporting the Administration's policy to achieve comprehensive regional peace in the Middle East that includes a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the core concept of two states for two peoples.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chairman Smith, Chairman Royce, Ranking Members Payne and Sherman, and distinguished members of the Committees, thank you for this opportunity to testify before you today on the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. I will give you a brief update on the current situation and the U.S. government's efforts to help the more than 2.85 million people in need in Somalia, despite significant challenges on the ground.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good afternoon Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Payne, and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you about foreign assistance support to Sudan. I want to also thank Ambassador Princeton Lyman for his dedicated efforts in serving as the current Special Envoy for Sudan, and in particular for helping to facilitate ongoing discussions between both CPA parties on critical outstanding issues. He has been an important advocate and partner for USAID in Sudan. We have worked to ensure that diplomatic and development efforts are coordinated to best accomplish U.S.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good afternoon Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Payne, and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you about foreign assistance support to Sudan. I want to also thank Ambassador Princeton Lyman for his dedicated efforts in serving as the current Special Envoy for Sudan, and in particular for helping to facilitate ongoing discussions between both CPA parties on critical outstanding issues. He has been an important advocate and partner for USAID in Sudan. We have worked to ensure that diplomatic and development efforts are coordinated to best accomplish U.S.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Isakson, and members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify before you today on Côte d'Ivoire. I will give you a brief update on the current situation in Côte d'Ivoire, the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) efforts in the aftermath of post-election violence, and what capabilities we have that might be brought to bear in the future.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Throughout my time with the Agency, I have come to discover that USAID's struggles were rooted in our processes, not in our people. For years, USAID had been operating without a central budget function or a policy shop. Onerous reporting requirements from Washington kept many of our officers behind their desks and demanded that our Missions focus on outputs at the expense of outcomes. Those experiences, and the vital feedback of our staff, led me to institute one of the most sweeping sets of reforms USAID has undergone in its history-which we call “USAID Forward” – and which is an early outcome of Secretary Clinton's Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. This ambitious reform effort is changing the way USAID does business – with new partnerships, an emphasis on innovation, and a relentless focus on results.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chairman Burton, Ranking Member Meeks, and members of the Committee.

Thank you for inviting me to testify today on the scope and results of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in Central Asia.

This afternoon, I want to share with you my perspective on the essential role of U.S. foreign assistance in promoting stability and meeting urgent human needs in Central Asia.

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Last updated: September 16, 2014

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