USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah Addresses Faith-based Partnerships at World Vision

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), addressed hundreds of World Vision staff members at their U.S. headquarters in Federal Way, Washington. Shah's speech focused on the critical role played by faith-based organizations in responding to major humanitarian disasters like the crisis in the Horn of Africa, and in addressing hunger and poverty over the longer-term through efforts like President Obama's Feed the Future initiative.

USAID's Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) organized the event alongside World Vision staff as part of the Agency's continued effort to engage and work with faith-based organizations on mutual humanitarian and assistance concerns.

"I'm thrilled that World Vision is now a partner with us on some interesting new programs like Feed the Future, the Global Health Initiative, and the new Grand Challenge in Global Education: All Children Reading, where we will together be launching challenge grants to promote innovative solutions to support literacy and reading in development," said Shah, "Many of the innovations come out of learnings from your 40,000 strong workforce all around the world."

The crisis in the Horn of Africa is of particular concern to many relief and development organizations, where the worst drought in over 60 years is affecting more than 13 million people and putting many at risk of starvation and death. Without improved access in Somalia, as many as 750,000 Somalis may die before the end of the year.

To help raise awareness to the issue, USAID recently launched the FWD campaign in coordination with the Ad Council, World Vision and other leading NGOs working on the front lines of the crisis. The goal of the FWD campaign—which stands for “famine”, “war” and “drought”— is to highlight the three major issues at the center of this urgent crisis and provide tools for people to take action and spread the word.

"World Vision and USAID have been partners for three decades in government grant work all over the world. We have a unique appreciation and understanding of the impact of U.S. foreign assistance on the lives of children and families around the world," said World Vision President, Richard Stearns, "We believe in what USAID is doing and we are proud to be their partner."

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that has worked with USAID for decades to bring health, HIV/AIDS response, food security, emergency relief, and other assistance to those in need.

"People of faith are often at the vanguard of responding to major humanitarian crises and the present crisis in the Horn of Africa is no exception. We’ve seen churches, mosques and synagogues around the country fundraise and build awareness about this crisis”, said CFBI’s Acting Director Zeenat Rahman. “The faith community can bridge the critical gap in raising awareness on this by ensuring that the issue remains front-and-center in the hearts and minds of the American people.”

For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/.

Last updated: June 13, 2012

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