Wednesday, March 20, 2013
We have just passed the two-year anniversary since the onset of the Syrian conflict. Sadly, the country continues to face a grim situation and an escalating humanitarian crisis. The dreams of those who first began with hopeful demonstrations on the street of Damascus are far from being realized. The statistics are numbing: more than 70,000 dead; more than 4 million people inside the country in need of assistance; and more than 2.5 million displaced from their homes. We have already reached the somber milestone of more than one million refugees in neighboring countries, with greater numbers of refugees fleeing the violence each day.
We are facing a grim and escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria. The statistics are numbing: more than 70,000 dead; more than four million people inside the country in need of assistance, including over 2.5 million displaced from their homes. We have already surpassed the somber milestone of more than a million refugees who have fled to the relative safety of neighboring countries, with greater numbers of refugees fleeing the violence each day.
And behind these statistics are the stories of individual Syrians who have lost their homes, their livelihoods and all too often their loved ones. I had a sobering visit to the camps in Turkey and Jordan a month ago with Assistant Secretary Anne Richard and Ambassador Robert Ford. We stood at the border late one night as thousands of Syrians walked across into Jordan, including one young woman who was six months pregnant and fearful she would lose her child.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and Members of the Committee: Thank you for the invitation to testify today. I am grateful for the Committee's interest in the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) approach in Latin America and the Caribbean and pleased to have this opportunity to discuss the Obama Administration's development policy in the Americas. As always, I am eager to hear your advice and counsel as well.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Mali is facing a complex emergency: a political crisis, recovery from a major drought, and threats to internal and regional security. I would like to provide an update on the current situation and how it has affected our programming, as well as outline the key factors that are needed for development to progress.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently released a report estimating that there are now approximately 870 million hungry people in the world, 98 percent of them living in developing countries. While these numbers have adjusted down from recent estimates, it is still 870 million too many. Compounding this problem, research indicates that by the year 2050, the world's population is projected to increase by 38 percent to more than 9 billion, which, combined with changing diets, will require up to a 60 percent increase in food production to feed us all. We confront these challenges in a world that has less land and fewer resources available for production.
Consistent with the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, USAID's development activities target the root causes of the popular frustration with the Government of Nigeria that stokes instability in the North, Middle Belt and Niger Delta regions: poor governance, insufficient respect for human and civil rights, inadequate delivery of basic services, and a lack of economic opportunity, particularly for young Nigerians. Creating a culture of peace that acknowledges and transcends Nigeria's ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity is critical for stability, democracy, and economic development.
Mali is facing a complex emergency: a political crisis, a major drought, and threats to internal and regional security. These interrelated crises call for a careful and considered development response. According to the World Bank, countries that have become characterized as fragile states require 20 to 25 years to recover, at great cost to their own people as well as to the international community in terms of resources diverted to stabilize and get those states back on the track of effective, transparent governance. While Mali is not currently a fragile state, it is in a fragile situation.
Our goal is a stable, self-reliant, unified Iraq. This is critical to U.S. interests in the Middle East. It is a goal made possible through enormous sacrifice by Americans and Iraqis alike. USAID is adjusting its footprint in Iraq in line with its development strategy and programmatic needs. We are focused on Iraq's sustainable development under the terms of the U.S.- Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. Over the past ten years, USAID's role in Iraq progressed through three distinct stages:
Immediately after the invasion, USAID's emphasis was on restoring essential infrastructure and services and supporting transitional democratic processes.
Then, as part of the military and civilian counterinsurgency campaign, we concentrated on stabilizing Iraqi communities, and strengthening government institutions.
Now, with the completion of the transition to civilian leadership of the U.S. effort in Iraq, USAID's focus is on helping Iraqis improve how they manage their own resources for development.
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. In 2011, it was home to six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies. Foreign direct investment is approaching $80 billion a year, and trade has tripled over the last decade. Consumer spending is set to rise 80 percent by 2020 and Africa now has a fast-growing middle class, expected to increase from 60 million to 100 million people by 2015. The continent's fortune is not the outcome of good luck. It is the result of years of hard work and better macroeconomic management; improved economic and political governance; a reduction in armed conflicts; increasing foreign capital inflows, particularly direct investment; and improvements in the business climate.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) remains amongst the most persistent perpetrators of human rights violations in the world. As recently as last month, a UN report found that the LRA continues to commit all six grave violations against children identified by the UN Security Council as war crimes.
Last updated: March 22, 2013