Congressional Testimony

Thursday, May 23, 2013

 

Mr. Chairman, the impressive progress in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) over the past several decades has enabled USAID to completely shift our development approach away from providing direct assistance and toward strengthening countries’ capacity to provide for their own people. While our relationship with Mexico has been a bit different than in other parts of the region, today our joint cooperation serves as a catalyst for the Mexican government, private sector and civil society to improve their ability to address the country’s biggest challenges and ultimately lead their own development.  

USAID considers insecurity related to high levels of crime and violence in Mexico to be a grave threat to the remarkable development advances of recent decades.   Cartels and criminal groups have diversified in recent years, expanding beyond drug trafficking and into extortion, kidnapping, murder and other crimes that adversely affect people’s lives. Analyses in LAC countries indicate that high levels of crime and violence are a leading constraint to economic growth, because it discourages investment and diverts resources away from productive investments to security. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Over the last thirty years of my career, I have had the privilege to serve across four government agencies, focusing on the Middle East. I know firsthand that it is a region of great hope and opportunity, but one that faces daunting challenges, especially in this transition period. Two years after the Arab Spring, we have seen progress and we have seen setbacks. We must remember democratic transitions take time—it’s a messy process—but the common desire for dignity, opportunity and self-determination that originally spurred people to action continue to drive the transitions across the region. For the past two years, USAID has supported countries as they write new constitutions and reform institutions, as they carry out free and fair elections, and as citizens advocate for increased participation in the political process.

But today, the economic frustrations that moved people across the region to protest in the streets are still alive. The International Monetary Fund forecasted last year that most of the countries where USAID works in the Middle East will continue to have tepid economic growth in 2013. Unemployment among young people—who make up 30 percent of the region’s population—remains very high. The political changes these youth helped bring about carried high expectations that the economic challenges they faced also would be addressed—rapidly—and their personal situation would improve—quickly.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Last week, along with Acting Assistant Secretary Don Yamamoto, I attended a conference in Brussels where 80 nations came together to pledge support for Mali as it seeks a pathway back to democracy, peace and prosperity. President Traore of Mali began the meeting by thanking the international community for its help and expressing his gratitude for the fact that, in the north of Mali, people are no longer having their hands and feet cut off by terrorists, women are no longer being raped, and Islam is no longer being defamed as a tool of terrorists. In his speech, he emphasized that “we must learn our lessons from bad governance and realize that the collapse of this house of cards endangered our people as well as the entire region.” He commended all of us “to address the root causes of this crisis with good governance as the first priority.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity is the first-ever whole-of-government strategic guidance for U.S. Government international assistance for children. It is a requirement of Public Law 109-95. Seven U.S. Government agencies and departments have endorsed the Action Plan, which was cleared by OMB and launched at the White House on December 19, 2012.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

USAID makes critical contributions to the U.S. Government’s work to aid children in adversity. Our work to help children to first survive, then thrive, is an important piece of the efforts being coordinated under the recently-released U.S. Government Action Plan for Children in Adversity. The action plan represents the work of more than seven different agencies across the government—and is one of finest examples of interagency collaboration and coordination in recent years.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

 

Thank you Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Graham, and members of the Committee. I am pleased to join you to discuss the President's fiscal year 2014 budget request for USAID.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called upon our nation to join with the world in ending extreme poverty in the next two decades. Today, we have new tools that enable us to achieve a goal that was simply unimaginable in the past: the eradication of extreme poverty and its most devastating corollaries, including widespread hunger and preventable child and maternal deaths. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called upon our nation to join with the world in ending extreme poverty in the next two decades. Today, we have new tools that enable us to achieve a goal that was simply unimaginable in the past: the eradication of extreme poverty and its most devastating corollaries, including widespread hunger and preventable child and maternal deaths.

The President’s fiscal year 2014 budget request responds to this call and the most critical development challenges of our time. It supports important global partnerships, including the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and the Child Survival Call to Action, by increasing and focusing investments in food security and maternal and child health. It builds resilience in areas besieged by recurrent crisis and natural disaster, with a focus on the Horn of Africa and Sahel regions. And it advances a comprehensive food aid reform package that will enable us to feed two to four million additional people each year.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called upon our nation to join with the world in ending extreme poverty in the next two decades. Today, we have new tools that enable us to achieve a goal that was simply unimaginable in the past: the eradication of extreme poverty and its most devastating corollaries, including widespread hunger and preventable child and maternal deaths.

The President’s fiscal year 2014 budget request responds to this call and the most critical development challenges of our time. It supports important global partnerships, including the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and the Child Survival Call to Action, by increasing and focusing investments in food security and maternal and child health. It builds resilience in areas besieged by recurrent crisis and natural disaster, with a focus on the Horn of Africa and Sahel regions. And it advances a comprehensive food aid reform package that will enable us to feed two to four million additional people each year.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called upon our nation to join with the world in ending extreme poverty in the next two decades. Today, we have new tools that enable us to achieve a goal that was simply unimaginable in the past: the eradication of extreme poverty and its most devastating corollaries, including widespread hunger and preventable child and maternal deaths.

The President’s fiscal year 2014 budget request responds to this call and the most critical development challenges of our time. It supports important global partnerships, including the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and the Child Survival Call to Action, by increasing and focusing investments in food security and maternal and child health. It builds resilience in areas besieged by recurrent crisis and natural disaster, with a focus on the Horn of Africa and Sahel regions. And it advances a comprehensive food aid reform package that will enable us to feed two to four million additional people each year.

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.

Pages

Last updated: November 20, 2014

Share This Page
Subscribe to Congressional Testimony

Press inquiries

If you are a member of the press, you may contact our press relations office at:

U.S. Agency for International Development
Office of Press Relations
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C. 20523-0016
Telephone: 202-712-4320
FAX: 202-216-3524
Email: usaidpressofficers@usaid.gov