Congressional Testimony

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Good afternoon, Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss USAID’s work with this committee. Throughout Africa, our efforts to end extreme poverty, promote resilient, democratic societies and create economic opportunity while advancing our security and prosperity are increasingly threatened by instability and the emerging forces of violent extremism. This is a global phenomenon and no part of the world is immune.

The United States has a powerful tool to prevent conflict and instability: international development. As the U.S. Government’s primary development agency, USAID has long recognized the critical role of development in addressing social, economic, governance, and other legitimate grievances that can fuel violent extremism and promote radicalization of individuals and communities. It is also important to build counter-violent extremism messaging into programming, especially in local languages that can reach vulnerable populations. Our activities and interventions are designed to reduce extremists’ opportunities to exploit social injustice, lack of political integration, economic inequality, religious persecution, and ideological extremism to recruit followers to violent agendas or criminal networks.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Today, I would like to highlight the worsening humanitarian crisis that the South Sudanese people face and how USAID has adapted its efforts to help them despite serious challenges. I will discuss our life-saving aid, as well as our long-term assistance to provide basic services, improve livelihoods, and mend the deep societal rifts in South Sudan. USAID’s mission is to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity—nowhere more so than in a country as desperately in need as South Sudan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

For more than fifty years, USAID has led our nation’s efforts to advance dignity and prosperity around the world, both as an expression of core American values and to help build peaceful, open, and flourishing partners for the United States. This is particularly important in those countries closest to our shores: the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

With renewed commitment from Northern Triangle countries to advance their own development goals, and our government’s support, USAID is well placed for success. Our programs are strategically designed to confront current challenges while also enabling countries to better address emerging threats. As we have seen with the Zika outbreak and the prolonged drought, preparation and coordination are crucial to mitigating the effects of, and developing a response to, the crises and natural disasters that the region regularly faces. Political will, in combination with improved local capacity, leveraged resources and new partnerships, will allow us to help Central American governments create a more peaceful, prosperous, and integrated region.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

President Barack Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request for Department of State and USAID foreign assistance in the East Asia-Pacific region is $873 million — a 12 percent increase over FY 2015. This request is in recognition that America’s security and prosperity are inextricably tied to the region, and it enables us to consolidate the gains in the East Asia-Pacific made under the Obama Administration as we transition to the next Administration — paving the way for sustained partnership with this increasingly consequential part of the world.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

While the current era of unrest is being driven by inter-related and deeply-rooted political, economic, and social forces over which the United States has only limited influence, it is critical to U.S. national security interests that we maintain our engagement with people throughout the region. The region’s pre-existing challenges – poor quality education, healthcare, and other public services, coupled with lack of political and economic opportunity – were at the core of many of the uprisings that began five years ago. With few exceptions, people’s grievances have largely still not been addressed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Violent conflict, fragility and violent extremism cross borders and present significant threats to both regional and international security. The costs of conflict — in a developmental, economic and human sense— are extraordinary. We must address the development-related factors that drive instability and the plight of the 1.5 billion people living in conflict and fragility around the world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Just as we have faced other global threats with defense, diplomacy and development, so, too, must we use these tools to prevent violent extremism. Understanding the underlying “drivers” and identifying effective responses to address the root causes of the spread of violent extremism is critical. USAID is in a unique position as the United States Government’s lead development agency to address these underlying drivers. It is not an “either” “or” question of which tool to use, but rather a matter of effectively utilizing all of the elements of what we know to work. With that said, USAID’s efforts are essential but not sufficient. We must engage in a comprehensive approach in order to defeat this growing threat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

For less than one percent of the federal budget, the President’s request keeps us on this path. The request will provide the resources we need to deliver against our most urgent priorities and to advance our mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies around the world while remaining consistent with the levels set in the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act. Overall, the FY 2017 budget request for the State Department and USAID is $50.1 billion, $35.2 billion of which is Enduring, and $14.9 billion of which is Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

As a core pillar of American leadership and power, global development works together with defense and diplomacy to advance our interests and values abroad, and to protect the American people at home. With less than one percent of the federal budget, USAID supports critical development activities and the courageous development professionals who carry them out in challenging, often dangerous, conditions every day. In total, the President’s funding request for accounts from which USAID administers assistance is $22.7 billion. $11.0 billion of this total is in core USAID-managed accounts: 1) Development Assistance; 2) Global Health Programs-USAID; 3) International Disaster Assistance; 4) Food for Peace Title II; 5) Transition Initiatives; 6) Complex Crises Fund and 7) USAID Administrative Expense accounts.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Social development and economic growth in Central America have been stymied by a dramatic rise in crime and violence — particularly in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. While the homicide rate has declined in Honduras, it is still unacceptably high. In El Salvador, the statistics from 2015 are truly alarming — over 100 murders per 100,000 people. This surpasses the murder rate at the peak of El Salvador’s civil war in the 1980s.

The recent wave of insecurity is rooted in increased gang violence and international crime, as well as deep-seated issues of social and economic inequity, and lack of economic opportunity for vast segments of society. Economic productivity in Central America has grown slowly over the last decade, and underemployment hovers between 30 and 40 percent in the Northern Triangle.

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Last updated: May 13, 2016

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