Congressional Testimony

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Introduction

Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and distinguished Members of the Sub-Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today regarding the upcoming elections in Nigeria. I also want to thank my State Department colleague, Ambassador and Assistant Secretary Tibor Nagy for his excellent description of our concerns and challenges in supporting Nigeria’s electoral processes.

USAID is deeply committed to supporting free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in Nigeria. We know that Nigeria’s success in achieving sustained, broad-based advancements in economic and social development for its people can only be achieved if good governance is a daily reality for all Nigerians. Since the 2015 election, our support has provided continuity in assisting with gubernatorial, off-cycle elections, and in the lead up preparations to the 2019 general elections. Our programmatic efforts have been in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development, in addition to regular coordination with civil society groups, as well as multilateral and bilateral donors.

Elections Support

USAID’s programs align with the three objectives that Assistant Secretary Nagy described; a credible process, a peaceful election, and an inclusive process monitored by Nigerian civil society.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Some Americans see only Africa’s seemingly intractable problems, but I truly believe that Africa’s future is bright. The investments and commitment of the American people to the people of Africa are paying off, and USAID has set its priorities to capitalize on the region’s emerging opportunities. Under Administrator Green’s leadership, USAID is focusing its resources, policy tools, and engagement in places where the conditions are right to establish and sustain progress.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Mr. Chairman, there is no doubt that China is increasingly exerting its influence across the region. This presents challenges to our partner countries’ sustainable development and can threaten country sovereignty. The strategic partnership we offer to countries throughout the region provides a clear, alternative choice — one that invests in increasing country self-reliance and sustainable prosperity, and helps countries to make informed decisions about their own futures.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

As we look ahead, it is clear that many challenges remain. The Assad regime is gearing up for a large-scale offensive in northwest Syria, an area already facing significant humanitarian needs due to years of conflict, as well as the large number of displaced people who already live there. The city of Idlib currently hosts the highest concentration of displaced people inside Syria-- with thousands of people arriving just in the last couple months from eastern Ghouta and southwest Syria — further taxing the area’s ability to support them. This upcoming offensive has the potential to create a humanitarian emergency at a scale not yet seen during this seven-year civil war, possibly creating temporary displacement for up to 900,000 people. In addition to this mass displacement, the UN and other humanitarian groups are bracing for intense bombing and shelling, resulting in civilian deaths, as well as the destruction of schools and hospitals. Our partners are looking to pre-position relief supplies where possible, and our DART is already looking to identify areas of greatest need.

An additional challenge in Syria, particularly the northwest, is the ability of aid groups to reach people living in territory controlled by terrorist organizations. Because the Syria crisis is subject to elevated risks of aid diversion to U.S.-sanctioned terrorist groups, USAID has put risk mitigation programs in place — including the hiring of dedicated risk mitigation staff — to reduce the possibility of fraud, waste, and abuse, and the diversion of benefits. Do not be mistaken: USAID places the highest priority on ensuring that taxpayer funds are used wisely, effectively and for their intended purpose. But without aid from the United States and the international community, Syrians in desperate need of basics aid — food, water, and shelter — do not have a good chance of survival. So USAID works with our partners to put in place checks and safeguards that will allow assistance to keep flowing to the people who need it, without being diverted.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Central Asia is a strategically important region for the United States, with tremendous opportunity that is constrained by significant development challenges. If the region is to increase its stability and realize its full potential, USAID must remain engaged in areas that further our strategic interests. With the FY 2019 budget request, USAID will continue making the most of every U.S. taxpayer dollar to ensure that the development decisions our partner countries make today help move them forward on their journeys to self-reliance and achieve the objectives of the South Asia Strategy.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

USAID further believes that partner countries that build strong democracies and market-oriented economies, will be more resilient to Kremlin attempts to exploit weaknesses in their political and economic institutions.

Importantly, whether the focus is on Countering Kremlin Influence goals or other objectives, USAID is committed to taking every prudent step to extend the reach and effectiveness of taxpayer resources. This includes strengthening domestic resource mobilization programs so the partners can more effectively finance their own development future. It includes taking steps to ensure that our program and procedures are more private enterprise friendly, so that we can better leverage our resources, bring new ideas and partners to our work, and increase opportunities for American businesses.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

USAID is committed to combating human trafficking in all forms and industries around the world. A prevalence study conducted by a USAID partner in Thailand, Issara Institute, revealed that in the research area, nearly 80 percent of the fishing vessel workers may have been trafficked. Our experience shows that Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing and human trafficking have common drivers and USAID understands that addressing environmental and human rights challenges together creates stronger and more transformational impact on both sectors.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

USAID’s FY 2019 request directly contributes to the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) of advancing a free, open, and rules-based order. Through our bilateral and regional programs, we will help partner countries strengthen their democratic systems (with a focus on good governance); ensure their regulatory environments for trade, infrastructure, and investment are transparent, open, and free of corruption; and encourage responsible natural resource management, upon which many countries depend for their growth. In accordance with the IPS, we are also supporting India’s emergence as a pillar of stability in the region and examining how we can further strengthen India and our relationship in this regard.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

As many of you know, the United States is the only remaining donor working on democracy, governance, and human rights in Nicaragua, and it is thanks to your support that we have been able to maintain a crucial lifeline for civil society organizations, human rights defenders, emerging leaders, and independent media -- all of whom remain under grave attack.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Government (USG) has been a leader in the global effort to increase access to TB diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care, particularly in countries with the highest burden of disease. Thanks to the generosity of the American people and the strong support of the U.S. Congress, USAID is the largest bilateral donor in the fight against TB. We work in partnership with national TB programs (NTPs) in Ministries of Health (MoHs), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Stop TB Partnership, technical assistance organizations, civil society including faith-based organizations, as well as affected people and communities. USAID has driven and funded interventions, tools, and technologies that have helped save 53 million lives from 2000 to 2016. Our efforts to build partnerships with national governments, multilateral organizations, and departments and agencies across the US Government have developed and strengthened country capacity to end the TB epidemic around the world.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I’m proud to say that our connections with the defense establishment have never been stronger. This collaboration is evident across the spectrum, from USAID personnel embedded at geographic Combatant Commands, to our ongoing implementation of the joint Stabilization Assistance Review. And, in the field, in places like Syria, USAID experts are working hand in glove with DoD and State colleagues to help stabilize areas and allow for the safe return of people displaced for years by horrific conflict.

In my testimony before you today, I will touch upon several key ways in which the executive branch agencies leverage their unique capabilities to respond to crises around the world, and how we are increasingly not just communicating, but actively collaborating with each other and our partners on the ground, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, contractors, and other nonfederal entities (NFEs).

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Last updated: January 17, 2019

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