Volume Four, Issue Fifteen
Global Education Takes Center Stage
USAID played host to a three-day Global Education Summit last week where more than 750 experts talked about some of the best ways to improve education in the developing world.
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah closed out the summit, while a cast of educators and education advocates from around the globe spoke out in other addresses and during technical workshops. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told an international audience: "Education is the currency by which nations remain competitive and grow the pie for everyone." And Gene Sperling, who heads the National Economic Council, issued this rallying cry: "We need to redefine 'life-saving.' Providing education is life-saving."
And, click on this YouTube video to see how education initiatives are taking shape in the field as Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announces the launch of the country's national reading campaign and commits to improving quality education in Liberia.
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"Saving Lives" Aim of Award Winners
Last week, "Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development" announced 22 innovators who will receive funding to bring their bold ideas to save the lives of mothers and newborns in developing countries to life.
Saving Lives at Birth, which launched in 2011, made the announcement at the third DevelopmentXChange, a three-day event culminating July 31 with a public showcase for 53 finalists - winnowed from a pool of more than 400 applications - and their innovative designs. The 22 finalists will now enter into final negotiations before awards are issued.
Saving Lives partners - including USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), and the U.K's Department for International Development - came together three years ago to issue a global challenge for groundbreaking, scalable solutions to prevent infant and maternal deaths around the time of birth.
U.S. Increases Syria Aid
On Aug. 7, President Barack Obama announced the United States will provide an additional $195 million in humanitarian assistance to help feed, shelter and provide medical care for people affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria. This new aid brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance going toward the crisis in Syria to more than $1 billion.
The additional aid will increase food security, medical care and clean water, and provide shelter and other relief supplies for families in Syria and neighboring countries. In addition, the United States is increasing support for activities to protect especially vulnerable populations-including women, children and the elderly-and improving sanitation and hygiene to help prevent the spread of water-borne illness. The United States is now providing aid to 3.2 million people in Syria across all 14 governorates and continues to work through all possible channels to deliver aid to those in need.
Want to know more? Read this recent FrontLines story about Jordanians paying forward the assistance they received from USAID to help Syrian refugees who are sheltering in their country.
Celebrating International Youth Day
Did you know that 27 million of the 214 million international migrants are between the ages of 10 and 24? Youth are one of the most mobile social groups, and developing countries host a higher proportion of these young migrants than developed countries.
Today is International Youth Day and is focused on Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward. Created in 2000, the day brings attention to the challenges facing young people as well as their contributions to their communities, nations and the world. USAID is celebrating International Youth Day by reflecting on the linkages between youth migration and development, exploring the positive aspects of youth migration, and accounting for the risks and challenges young people frequently face when they migrate.
This morning USAID, the State Department and a representative from the United Nations participated in a Google+ Hangout about the challenges and troubles young refugees face and the successes youth have achieved.
Welcome to the Data Revolution
On July 30, USAID made a significant step forward to deliver development results more transparently and effectively. With the unprecedented release of new financial data that includes over 30 database fields and nearly 53,000 records-all from the first three quarters of fiscal year 2013-you can now search the Foreign Assistance Dashboard in more detail than ever before and see how and where we spend our development dollars.
With this data, you can explore the data, download our apps, and think creatively about ways to help us harness the power of information to end extreme poverty around the world. Read more about a true data revolution here.
Roundtable Seeks Solutions to Extreme Poverty
Last week, Administrator Shah was a featured speaker at the 10th Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global in Aspen, Colo. The event invited top thinkers from in and outside of government to share their thoughts and solutions for lifting an estimated 1.2 billion people from extreme poverty over the next generation. This year's theme was "The Private Sector in the New Global Development Agenda."
Want to learn more? Check out blog posts from the Brookings Institution here.
Agency Swears in 4 New Mission Directors
New mission directors are heading to countries in Latin America, West Africa and Eastern Europe to oversee Agency programs that range from agriculture and health care to human rights and the environment.
John Groarke is the new mission director in Haiti, and formerly served in that same role in Morocco. Michelle Godette is the new mission director for both Guinea and Sierra Leone, and will be based in Conakry. Before this post, Godette was the deputy mission director in Nigeria. Alex Deprez is the new mission director for West Africa, and will work out of Accra. Before this post, Deprez served as deputy mission director in South Sudan. And, James Stein is the new mission director in Macedonia, and formerly served as deputy mission director in Afghanistan.
All four were sworn in by Agency officials during the first and second weeks of August. Stay abreast of the latest news about the Agency here.
Have you Seen our Blog?
Check out the Impact Blog to stay updated on the latest information about USAID programs in Washington and around the world. Read stories from the field, hear from development experts, and view weekly photos and videos of development in action. You can also join the conversation on social media!
Last updated: September 11, 2013