Congressional Testimony

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the invitation to come and speak with you today about the food security situation in the Horn of Africa, and specifically the threat of famine in Somalia. We are grateful for your long history of support to humanitarian efforts and for drawing attention to the plight of the world’s vulnerable people, such as those in the Horn of Africa.

My name is Matthew Nims, and I am the Acting Director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP). The United States has been the largest provider of emergency food assistance in the world. We use a mix of tools to respond to emergency food needs including U.S. commodities, locally and regionally procured food, vouchers, cash transfers and other complementary activities to reach the world’s most food insecure with lifesaving aid. We also support development programs that address the root causes of hunger in areas of chronic crisis to build resilience and food security of local communities. Last year through the work of our many implementing partners, including those testifying on the next panel, our food assistance reached over 60 million people in 52 countries.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In 2017, we are confronted with massive humanitarian crises around the world, which demand an immediate, substantial, and creative response. In just over a decade, the number of people in need of humanitarian aid has more than doubled. There are more than 65 million displaced people today—numbers we have not seen since World War II. We are also facing the most serious food security crisis in the modern era. Famine likely occurred in parts of Nigeria late last year and was declared in South Sudan this year; Somalia and Yemen are likely to be next.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Chairman Duncan, Ranking Member Sires, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the invitation to testify today. I am grateful for the Committee's support for the United States Agency for International Development's work in Latin America and the Caribbean, and am pleased to have this opportunity to testify before you today on our programming in Nicaragua.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today to discuss U.S. policy and international commitments with regard to Afghanistan. It is an honor to appear before you with the U.S. Department of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Olson.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

USAID has been working closely with partners across the U.S. government to implement our collective response to the Zika outbreak. This collaboration aims to minimize the number of pregnancies affected by Zika virus transmission. Together, U.S. government agencies plan to undertake surveillance efforts to identify the progression of the Zika virus, diagnose infections when they occur, provide care and support for pregnant women who have been identified as having contracted the Zika virus, and take efforts to prevent further infections. We are also working jointly to accelerate innovation and research across each of these categories of response.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This is a momentous time for global development: Over the last thirty years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half, and now - for the first time in history - ending extreme poverty is within reach. It is also a time of complex humanitarian crises and great upheaval, so the stakes have never been higher for us to obtain maximum development results for each precious taxpayer dollar.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Corruption takes on many forms, from the bribery of public officials to collusion in public procurement to the wholesale theft of government assets. Although its different forms may cause varying degrees of harm, corruption as a whole tears at the fabric of society and hinders inclusive economic growth and democratic governance. Additionally, corruption poses major security risks to the United States, often enabling radicalization and violent extremism and fueling political instability and conflict. That is why President Obama views corruption as a fundamental obstacle to peace, prosperity, and human rights, and our Administration has sought to elevate anti-corruption efforts across our foreign policy and development agendas.

As the United States’ lead development agency, USAID plays a critical role in the U.S. Government’s strategy to stem the tide of corruption and hold to account all those who exploit the public trust for private gain. Our work takes us to every corner of the world, where we have seen firsthand the devastating impacts corruption can have on people, communities, and countries. But, encouragingly, we are also seeing new and promising trends on which to build.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Across all 12 Pacific island countries, USAID assistance focuses on climate change adaptation, greater disaster preparedness and providing relief when disasters do strike. In the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, we also assist in reconstruction from disasters. In Papua New Guinea, USAID supports biodiversity conservation and improved natural resource management, helps combat HIV/AIDS and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, and works to strengthen democracy, peace and security in the post-conflict Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Through our regional programming, we also support sustainable fisheries management and conservation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The United States has put gender equality and the advancement of women and girls at the forefront of the three pillars of our foreign policy–diplomacy, development, and defense. This is embodied in President Obama’s National Security Strategy, the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, and the 2010 and 2015 U.S. Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Reviews. But more must be done. Women’s empowerment is critical to USAID’s core mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies while addressing pressing health and education challenges.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request of $164.1 million for Department of State and USAID foreign assistance in Central Asia reflects an increased commitment to American engagement in this strategically important region.  The request would enable USAID to build on recent momentum in the U.S.-Central Asia relationship developed through Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic November 2015 trip, during which he emphasized the United States’ strong commitment to the prosperity, sovereignty, stability and security of the five Central Asian countries, including through regional integration as promoted by the recently launched “C5+1” framework between the five Central Asian countries and the United States.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

USAID has long played an important role in Europe and Eurasia, which has seen considerable advances in freedom, security, and prosperity over the past quarter century.  Twelve countries have transitioned from receiving U.S. assistance, successfully integrating into the Euro-Atlantic community through institutions such as NATO and the European Union (EU).  Many of these countries are now important U.S. partners and allies in the region and around the world.  Yet the region’s transformation remains incomplete; progress is uneven in key areas, important achievements are at risk and, in a few cases, we are seeing regression.

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Last updated: May 29, 2017

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