Testimony of Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, Cheryl L. Anderson, before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

 
Good afternoon Chair Bass, Ranking Member Smith, and Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today about the investments of the U.S. Government and our partners in sub-Saharan Africa. I am grateful for the Committee's continuing support for the work of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and am pleased to have this opportunity to present our plans as outlined in the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

As USAID Administrator Mark Green always says - the goal of foreign assistance should be to end the need for its existence. We know that our investments are having a transformative impact in sub-Saharan Africa and is indeed moving countries toward self-reliance. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has provided nearly 15 million men, women and children in sub-Saharan Africa with anti-retroviral medicine, which means they can now live long, healthy lives with HIV. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has averted seven million deaths from malaria in Africa since 2006, primarily among children under the age of five. These dramatic changes are the result of sustained efforts by African governments, civil society, and the private sector with vital support from aid donors, foundations, and international non-governmental organizations. Throughout USAID’s history, we have confronted some of the world’s greatest development challenges, and, along with our partners, we have demonstrated that our work can, and does, have a measurable impact. Even so, every one of our programs should look forward to the day when it can end. As the Administrator says, every USAID Mission must continuously evaluate how each program dollar we invest is actively moving a country closer to that day.

The President’s total Budget Request for foreign assistance for FY 2020 in sub-Saharan Africa is $4.9 billion. Roughly 3.1 billion, or 64 percent, of the Request represents the top 10 country programs. The Request allocates resources based on the overarching policy priorities laid out in the National Security Strategy, the Joint U.S. Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan, and the Administration’s Africa Strategy. The request supports the President’s goals to strengthen national security, assert U.S. influence, generate economic opportunities for Americans, and ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of U.S. foreign and humanitarian assistance.

Preserving Peace and Security

Many of the biggest security threats the United States faces — including terrorism, pandemics, and transnational organized crime — incubate and thrive in weak, failing, and failed states. The President’s Budget Request for FY 2020 addresses key priorities in Africa, including defeating and degrading regional and local terror groups in Mali, Nigeria, the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, Somalia and elsewhere. It also prioritizes funding for activities in countries that are recovering from, or facing, conflict to prevent them from becoming safe havens for terrorism and extremism, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. The President’s Budget Request for FY 2020 of $107.2 million for democracy programs will help counter political fragility and support stronger and more effective governance so corruption, the failure to deliver basic social services, and a lack of transparency do not grow worse in unstable regions and threaten the United States and its allies. Programs will continue to support developing democracies to strengthen their institutions to make them responsive to their citizens and enhance their political, social, and economic gains after civil wars ravaged their countries.

Asserting American Influence

For more than 58 years, USAID’s programs and partners have saved and improved lives around the world. Our global health programs support the control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic under PEPFAR, prevent child and maternal deaths, and combat infectious-disease threats. They are hallmarks of U.S. leadership in the world. Global pandemics and the spread of deadly diseases, such as multidrug resistant tuberculosis (TB), the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, and the current Ebola epidemic in the DRC have shown us that American health — and therefore our national security — are vulnerable. USAID’s global health security programming helps prevent or stop outbreaks at the country level by strengthening African health care systems and preventing these diseases from becoming cross-border pandemics by assisting governments to comply with their obligations under the International Health Regulations (2005), and in support of the Global Health Security Agenda.

The resource request for FY 2020 will support robust funding for health programs, including PEPFAR, and provide opportunities to control epidemics and disease in key, targeted countries. The President’s FY 2020 request for Africa allocates approximately 81 percent to global health programs. The President’s FY 2020 request for Africa proposes $2.86 billion for PEPFAR, and $1.13 billion for other health programs, including PMI, TB, global health security, and maternal and child health.

Promoting American Prosperity

Africa has experienced rapid economic growth and significant reductions in poverty, with a number of African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Rwanda) now among the fastest-growing economies in the world. USAID looks to the opportunities presented by trade and international investments – they are among the fastest ways for Africa to boost its economic growth, which is in the interest of the United States. The President’s FY 2020 request will advance economic growth and bolster governance programs that combat corruption, promote regulatory reforms, and create an enabling environment for U.S. businesses, including in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The Administration’s Prosper Africa initiative will enhance our efforts in these areas. The President’s Request for FY 2020 of $50 million for Prosper Africa will boost two-way trade and investment between the United States and the continent. The initiative brings together the full range of the U.S. Government’s resources to connect U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities in ways that will greatly benefit both the United States and countries across the African continent. A greater connection between the U.S. and African private sectors will expand markets for goods and services on both sides of the Atlantic—which will advance our mutual prosperity and security, fuel economic growth and job creation, and demonstrate the superior value proposition of transparent markets and private enterprise for driving growth. This market-driven approach has been the cornerstone of Power Africa. The President’s Request for FY 2020 of $70 million will continue progress toward the goals of the Power Africa 2.0 Strategy and respond to emerging investment opportunities in energy. USAID’s funding will support activities that target key policy reforms, increase opportunities for U.S. firms, and generate additional investment in the distribution and transmission of energy. USAID’s regional Trade and Investment Hubs are the U.S. Government’s main platform for transforming African economies and deepening the U.S.-Africa trade relationship, and will be a key vehicle for Prosper Africa. The requested funding of $15.0 million will support trade programs that promote the negotiation of regional trade agreements, eliminate subsidies or price controls, encourage business-support services, reform government procurement processes, encourage trade finance, promote sound fiscal and monetary policies, and develop infrastructure.

The President’s Request for FY 2020 food security in Africa of $221.7 million for 15 countries and USAID’s four regional Operating Units will support inclusive, agriculture-led growth, with a focus on improving agricultural productivity, expanding markets and trade, and increasing the economic resilience of rural communities that are vulnerable to humanitarian crises.

To complement these efforts, the President’s Request for FY 2020 for education in Africa of $78.6 million will enable investments in primary and secondary schools.

These investments in collaboration with African governments, will help connect youth to jobs and create a skilled workforce that will drive local markets and attract U.S. businesses.

Optimizing International Affairs Spending

We intend to uphold the Administration’s commitment to ensure effectiveness and accountability to the U.S. taxpayer. Rigorous monitoring and evaluation help to ensure the impact of USAID’s programs.

The United States has a continued commitment to a partnership with African governments, the private sector, and other donors grounded in mutual responsibility and respect. USAID has a very real role in safeguarding the United States’ national security and economic opportunities. As we continue to work with our partners toward our shared goals over the coming months, I look forward to a continued conversation with you on USAID’s investments in Africa.

Thank you, Chair Bass, and Members of the Subcommittee. I look forward to responding to your questions.

Subject 
FY 2020 Budget and U.S. - Africa Relations
Chamber 
House
Committee 
House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Last updated: November 19, 2019

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