Congressional Testimony

Speeches Shim

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Chairman Deutch, Ranking Member Wilson, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today about the role of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Libya’s political transition.

Libya's political transition is neither easy nor direct. Violence, corruption, and external interference have rolled back prior progress and remain threats to stability. However, despite the challenges, there is strong support from the Libyan people to chart a peaceful path forward and end more than a decade of chaos and setbacks. Today, 86 percent of Libyans who registered to vote in national elections have collected their registration cards and nearly 70 percent of Libyans support holding elections.

United States’ Goals and Interests in Libya

The United States has a strategic interest in a stable and prosperous Libya. We work closely with the United Nations and across the broader international community to support the Libyan people in their democratic transition. Together, we focus on supporting a negotiated political settlement that advances Libya’s ability to establish a unified government that is capable of securing its territory, transparently managing its significant resources, providing services to all of its citizens, and acting as a capable partner to mitigate threats of terrorism and violent extremism.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Good morning Chairwoman Bass, Ranking Member Smith, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 President’s budget request for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Africa. I am pleased to be with you today and look forward to sharing how investments in sub-Saharan Africa will further United States interests and values – including security, global health, climate change, freedom and democracy, and shared prosperity.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

As it is around the world, the COVID-19 situation in Latin America and the Caribbean remains dangerous. However, thanks to the generosity of the American people and the support of Congress, USAID has been able to help the countries of the region make real progress despite the unprecedented health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Even as we maintain our vigilance and continue to respond to the virus, we remain committed to helping countries adapt to new realities presented by the pandemic and shore up hard-won development gains. Ultimately, we seek to help the people of the region live in peace and prosperity and realize a more healthy, hopeful future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

As Administrator Power said in outlining her vision for development on USAID’s 60th anniversary, “corruption is basically development in reverse.” It undermines national security, scares away private investment, contributes to environmental degradation, erodes the rule of law, and weakens support for democracy itself. Corruption fuels and is fueled by the prevalence of drug trafficking and the transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that facilitate it. Both corruption and the trade in illicit narcotics are rooted in weak governance systems, captured or compromised justice sector institutions, and ineffective oversight and enforcement bodies. And these dynamics know no borders, involving actors, systems, and networks across countries and regions. Addressing the dual threats of corruption and the illicit narcotics trade, then, will require a persistent, coordinated, and whole-of-government effort. With Missions in more than 80 countries and programs in more than 100, USAID plays a critical role in this endeavor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Thanks to Congress’ support, USAID and interagency partners have made great strides in the fight against COVID-19. But so much more remains to be done to end the pandemic and build back better. We will not be able to do this alone. USAID, in coordination with our interagency partners, is working closely with other donor governments, multilateral institutions, as well as philanthropic and the private sectors as our collective efforts are the only way we will be able to secure a future free of COVID-19.

We are entering the most operationally intensive year of the global response. Vaccine producers will increasingly supply low-income countries and COVAX in the coming months. We still foresee significant gaps and supply risks - several flagship vaccines continue to face production challenges that have delayed scale-up, and India’s export restrictions have been only marginally relaxed. We nonetheless expect that the supply outlook for lower-income countries will start to improve somewhat as we enter 2022. But with only three percent of low-income and only 36 percent of middle-income countries’ populations having received at least one vaccine dose, next year will require unprecedented outreach to successfully get shots into arms.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Around the world, the compounding effects of conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic are driving record levels of humanitarian need. At the same time, the operational challenges created by these same drivers of need are making the delivery of aid more challenging —the number of people we can reach with the same level of resources is declining. According to the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 235 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021. This constitutes a 40 percent increase in need over the 2020 level, which senior UN officials assess is almost entirely attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has impacted each humanitarian sector differently (a few of which I will highlight below), we have consistently seen that communities affected by conflict or disasters are particularly susceptible to the spread of COVID-19 and its impacts—the populations we reach are often displaced, and many lack access to food and the basic services that are critical for preventing and mitigating disease outbreaks. This pandemic has had disparate impacts on already vulnerable or marginalized groups, including women and girls, children, and people with disabilities. In addition to providing life-saving assistance to populations in need, we are also making targeted investments in the international humanitarian system to effectively respond to public health emergencies in even the most challenging operational contexts.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

As an Agency that addresses the world’s toughest challenges, no challenge poses a greater threat to our planet than climate change. The scientific record is clear that carbon pollution is heating our planet -- threatening our health, safety, economy, and security. As the overwhelming scientific consensus in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report confirmed, if unchecked, the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic to life in the United States and in every country on the planet. A blanket of pollution has been created around the earth. This blanket traps heat and is dangerously heating the planet. Even if the world bands together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero tomorrow, the impacts of climate change are already here and are not going away - from punishing storms and devastating floods to grueling droughts, extreme heat waves, and raging wildfires.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The United States has several options moving forward. Many of us who watch Africa have grown more alarmed in recent years at the rapid spread of violent extremism, from thenow affecting not just the Sahel and the Horn, but also, now toward the the West African coast, through the Horn, down the Great Lakes Region, and now along the shores of the Indian Ocean in northern Mozambique. Whereas just a few years ago, the center of attention was on the proliferation of groups in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East, African countries are increasingly featured and fill reports on global terrorism. These same countries feature in IS/Al-Qaida propaganda. The United States is waking up to that reality, and Congress can play an amplifying role, as this hearing today demonstrates. Thank you for giving these issues your attention.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The world faces a profound climate crisis. This is a global, existential crisis and we can no longer delay action or do the bare minimum to address climate change. It threatens lives, health, economic progress and livelihoods. Climate change threatens development progress and exacerbates global inequities; increases water and food insecurity, natural hazards, the need for humanitarian assistance, and displacement; worsens the quality of the air we breathe as well as health outcomes, and contributes to conflict. The climate crisis fosters instability and threatens to undo the progress we’ve made and the taxpayer dollars we’ve invested in global development, prosperity, and security.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Last month, I traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to hear directly from the people impacted by the cycles of poverty, violence, climate shocks, and corruption and I travelled to assess and expand the impact U.S. assistance was having on their lives. What I saw there was a local reflection of global trends. People that continue to lose loved ones and suffer through lockdowns due to a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic that has already left 4 million people dead around the world. Families that have been traumatized by more frequent and intense hurricanes and rare weather events, many in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. And, as you indicated, everyday-citizens who are angered by poor governance, autocratic behavior, and corruption that limits opportunity, investment, prosperity, and personal freedom.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Nearly eight months after the start of the conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Tigray has deteriorated to shocking levels, and the need for action has become ever more urgent. USAID believes that a famine may already be happening in Tigray, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. If the conflict doesn’t end, and humanitarian access does not improve, this already devastating situation will get even worse.

We could see widespread famine occur in Ethiopia later this year一a situation the country has not faced since the 1980s.

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Last updated: December 09, 2021

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