Congressional Testimony

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chairman Young, Ranking Member Merkley, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the invitation to come and speak with you today about the unprecedented food security crisis the world is facing.

My name is Matthew Nims, and I am the Acting Director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP). The United States has long been the largest provider of emergency food assistance in the world and we are grateful for your continued support to humanitarian efforts and raising awareness to the struggles of the world’s most vulnerable people. Food for Peace uses 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.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Global Food Security Act sent a clear message that the United States is committed to addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger by equipping people with the tools to feed themselves. Feed the Future, guided by the Global Food Security Strategy, is leveraging investment from partner countries and the private sector to reduce reliance on humanitarian aid, promote American prosperity, deliver results, and build stability around the world. What began as the U.S. Government response to the 2008 global food crisis under President George W. Bush, led to a mobilized commitment and investment from other donors and countries in targeted, long-term food security solutions. These efforts continue today in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including those faced with the specter of famine and insecurity.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

USAID supports U.S. national security interests, promotes American prosperity, and advances American leadership by helping our partners recover from conflict, foster stability, and promote inclusive governance and economic growth.

With this request, we will continue to work with our international partners and those in the region to prioritize mutually identified areas of need that advance U.S. national security goals.

As Acting Assistant Secretary Jones noted, the crises in the region have a direct impact on U.S. national security and economic prosperity. The programs that USAID implements, with your continuing oversight and support, enhance regional security, resilience, and prosperity – benefits that are directly connected with American national security and prosperity.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

USAID programs in Latin America and the Caribbean play a critical role in our national security. Our efforts in the region promote security and prosperity in the United States and the Western Hemisphere by providing alternatives to youth at risk for violence and illegal migration; giving rural farmers an alternative to coca cultivation; strengthening governments’ ability to combat crime and disrupt transnational criminal organizations that traffic in drugs, weapons, and people; supporting transparent and accountable governance and anti-corruption efforts; and creating an economic environment in which the private sector can flourish, create jobs, and open markets for American businesses.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In 2017, we are confronted with major humanitarian crises around the world, which demand that the world provide an immediate, substantial, and creative response. The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FEWS NET, has warned that this year an unprecedented 70 million people across 45 countries will be in need of emergency food assistance, largely driven by persistent conflict, severe drought and economic instability.

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.

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Last updated: July 24, 2017

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