Southeast Asia, home to more than 650 million people, is one of the world’s most culturally diverse and economically dynamic subregions. Sustained economic growth and rapidly modernizing societies have transformed daily life for tens of millions of people. 

A significant obstacle to the region’s development is identifying shared transnational challenges and building consensus for regional collective action. In support of President Biden’s 2022 Indo-Pacific Strategy and its vision of a free and open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific, USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID/RDMA), based in Bangkok, Thailand, engages with regional bodies and the private sector, particularly in the Lower Mekong, to support Southeast Asia’s growth and social development, fosters regional collective action to overcome transnational challenges, and amplifies and augments the efforts of USAID bilateral Missions’ across Asia as they work with partner countries to build a region of resilient nations.


With a goal of a more resilient, inclusive, and secure Southeast Asia, USAID/RDMA advances the U.S. Government’s priorities in citizen-responsive governance and human rights, economic connectivity, environment, energy, gender equality, and health at the regional-scale, with key regional-intergovernmental, research and civil society partners working to address regional-scale challenges. RDMA leads USAID’s strategic policy engagement with the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and oversees USAID staff at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN based in Jakarta, Indonesia. USAID/RDMA provides operational and technical programming support to bilateral missions across Asia, including through our Asia Regional Training Center and Client Experience Team. USAID/RDMA also is the base of operations for several regional offices serving Asia, including the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the Indo-Pacific Hub for East Asia and Pacific, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Office for Transition Initiatives.


Across Southeast Asia, USAID/RDMA supports civil society and other democratic institutions by expanding human rights networks and deepening their engagement with regional institutions, the private sector, and the public to advance media freedom, counter trafficking in persons, and promote peacebuilding.


Southeast Asia’s efforts at economic integration have had the unanticipated effect of making the region one of the most vulnerable to global disruptions, such as climate-related, economic, and health-related shocks that continue to intensify. Through programs on the digital ecosystem, supply chain resiliency, and responsible investments, USAID/RDMA is strengthening Southeast Asia’s economic connectivity, and thereby helping regional economies become more resilient to shocks.


Addressing climate change, energy and environmental security, as well as countering transnational environmental crime, is critical for a prosperous, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific. USAID/RDMA is strengthening regional environmental and energy systems and connectivity across Southeast Asia, assisting the region to better respond to emerging threats, address the effects of climate change, and promote the sustainable use of shared natural resources–including helping the region transition to clean energy.


Over the past ten years, USAID’s investments in Asia, both bilaterally and regionally, have contributed to promising health developments. USAID/RDMA is building upon those developments by strengthening regional partnerships to address regional health threats including emerging infectious diseases, HIV, malaria, and COVID-19.

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