Congressional Testimony

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This transition period is a pivotal moment for Afghanistan, in anticipation of which USAID has been planning and adjusting its programming to maximize sustainability, oversight and accountability. Throughout our efforts, we are applying important lessons from the past twelve years in Afghanistan, as well as from other high-risk environments in which USAID has worked.

We understand fully that the fiscal reality our nation faces at home means that resources available for Afghanistan will decline over time. Weaning Afghanistan from unsustainable levels of assistance is necessary for us, and essential for them. To achieve this without triggering a crisis, we must remain a strong partner and continue to provide assistance in areas critical to Afghan development and stability. To do this with fewer resources, we are making tough decisions and prioritizing investments that have the greatest potential for long term sustainability. As USAID navigates through the 2014 transition period, we are committed to expending every effort to safeguard taxpayer funds and ensure that the development progress in Afghanistan is maintained and made durable.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our support to advance freedom in closed societies is a long-term endeavor. Indeed, I have been involved in this work virtually my entire professional career. As a scholar, implementer, activist, and now as an official of the Obama Administration, I have always been humbled by how hard this work is, and how brave our colleagues are who risk their lives on the front lines of freedom and democracy every day.

This work is a reflection not only of American values but also of universal values. We are at a pivotal moment in the struggle to advance democracy and human rights around the world.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The U.S. government, including many members of Congress, has been a strong supporter of the welfare of the people of South Sudan for decades—throughout Sudan’s civil war, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement period, and since independence in 2011. We are all deeply alarmed by the horrific violence now threatening their hard-won struggle for independence—especially today, which marks the third anniversary of the conclusion of South Sudan’s referendum, in which an overwhelming 99 percent of the South Sudanese people voted to form the world’s youngest nation. The people of South Sudan have endured far too many years of conflict and bloodshed to see peace slip away.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The U.S. government, including many members of Congress, has been a strong supporter of the welfare of the people of South Sudan for decades—throughout Sudan’s civil war, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement period, and since independence in 2011. We are all deeply alarmed by the horrific violence now threatening their hard-won struggle for independence—especially today, which marks just the third anniversary of South Sudan’s referendum, in which an overwhelming 99 percent of the South Sudanese people voted to form the world’s youngest nation. The people of South Sudan have endured far too many years of conflict and bloodshed to see peace slip away.

The outbreak of hostilities on December 15 has since erupted into heavy fighting across seven of South Sudan’s 10 states. This fighting is the result of longstanding, deeply rooted grievances in a fragile new state with nascent institutions not yet able to deliver justice or services to its people. Coupled with an unresolved power struggle that has ignited tensions along ethnic lines, we are now seeing a vicious cycle of targeted killings.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

As we celebrate the start of 2014, and a new year, the Syrian people find themselves in their third year of an escalating war. In just the last year, the number of people displaced inside Syria has quadrupled from 1.5 million to more than 6.5 million. More Syrians are now internally displaced from their homes than anywhere else in the world. An additional 2.3 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries in search of safety. More than 9.3 million people—over 40 percent of Syria’s population—are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Since its independence from France in 1960, the CAR has been one of the poorest, most unstable countries in the world. According to the United Nations Development Program, its indicators in health, education, gender equality, income, and trade measure not only well below global averages but even remarkably below the standard for “low human development.” Successive autocratic governments punctuated by political instability and conflict have only exacerbated the effect of poverty on Central Africans. It is in this context that the current crisis developed and because of this context that the emergency in the CAR has rapidly escalated and stymied the delivery of assistance to those most affected by it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Afghanistan 2014: Year of Transition

Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and Members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify before you today to discuss the role of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in advancing U.S. Government policy through USAID’s civilian assistance program during the transition in Afghanistan. It is an honor to appear before you today with Ambassador Dobbins and Deputy Assistant Secretary Dumont.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Continued U.S. engagement is critical to Afghanistan’s stability and to protecting the vital interests of our own country. Improving governance, creating economic opportunity, and supporting civil society are critical to solidifying our military gains and advancing our political and diplomatic goals for Afghanistan and the region. In order to achieve these goals, USAID has reoriented its assistance program to lessen its stabilization work and place an even greater emphasis on long-term, sustainable development programming.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

From cadres of organized local volunteers to food packets dispatched via pedi-cab, the relief response in the Philippines was as comprehensive as any large-scale relief effort I’ve seen. I am confident that our government's rapid mobilization combined with the Government of the Philippines’ preparedness helped prevent a tragic situation from becoming much worse.

With the Department of Defense (DoD) in support, USAID has been able to overcome the significant logistical hurdles of providing humanitarian assistance in an island country where the most powerful recorded storm to make landfall knocked out communications and cut off access to many. The U.S. has provided nearly $60 million in humanitarian assistance to date, including food assistance to at least 2.7 million people, critically-needed water containers, heavy-duty plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of disease.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

USAID views our assistance programs in the North Africa region as an investment in protecting our national interests and in building long-term partnerships with the people and the governments of those countries. USAID programs will continue to provide the seeds for future innovation and technology, to advance economic prosperity and growth, and to strengthen regional stability and security. The countries and peoples in North Africa continue to face significant challenges, but also significant opportunities. We will continue to support them through these political and economic transitions. While we recognize that our budgets are facing increasing pressures, we are aligning our programs to address the challenges and opportunities facing the region. We also know that our continued engagement in this region is vital to maintaining relationships with key allies, promoting stability, countering extremist threats in the Middle East and North Africa and advancing our key strategic interests.

Pages

Last updated: August 29, 2014

Subscribe to Congressional Testimony