The United States is a strong advocate for increased international cooperation and responsibility-sharing on irregular migration, refugee, and trafficking in persons issues in East Asia and the Pacific. At today’s East Asia Summit (EAS), the region’s leaders responded to President Obama’s call for strengthened cooperation by endorsing the EAS Leaders’ “Declaration on Strengthening Responses to Migrants in Crisis and Trafficking in Persons.” To support this stronger focus on human trafficking and irregular migration challenges, President Obama announced USAID's comprehensive, five-year plan of action. The plan commits nearly $12 million in the first year, including support for a new regional program which will strengthen cross-border collaboration between source, transit, and destination countries; leverage the private sector to reduce human trafficking in person in global food supply chains; and support improved research and data collection to ensure that interventions against trafficking in persons are targeted and effective.
U.S.-ASEAN Connect (“Connect”) is the U.S. Government’s strategic framework for economic engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Member States. Connect was announced by President Obama on February 15, 2016, at the historic U.S.-ASEAN special Leaders’ Summit in Sunnylands, California. Organized around four pillars – Business Connect, Energy Connect, Innovation Connect, and Policy Connect – the initiative provides strategic focus to ongoing and future U.S. economic activities in the region. U.S.-ASEAN Connect brings together all the resources and expertise of the U.S. government and private sector to create a whole-of-U.S. approach to economic engagement in the region. It reflects both the U.S. government and U.S. private sector’s desire to support ASEAN’s continued integration, including the success of the ASEAN Economic Community, and increased U.S.-ASEAN trade and investment.
A new Women’s Livelihood Bond will enable over half a million Southeast Asian women to access credit to improve their livelihoods. As the world's first bond that focuses on both financial and social returns, the Women's Livelihood Bond is backed by a loan guarantee from the U.S Agency for International Development's (USAID), in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The bond, structured and managed by Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), launched in September 2016.
Although substantial gains have been made in improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, Malawi still faces health issues in terms of water, sanitation, and hygiene. Poor practices surrounding transportation and storage of the water make waterborne illnesses, including cholera, common occurrences in Malawi.
Malaria is endemic in 95 percent of the country, with 98 percent of cases caused by the most severe form of the parasite. As a result, malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five in Malawi, and the Ministry of Health (MoH) estimates that malaria accounts for 34 percent of all outpatient visits and 40 percent of all hospital admissions among children under five. Overall, one out of every four hospital deaths is attributed to malaria.
Over the last two decades, Malawi has made gains in most health indicators and it is one of only a few countries to have achieved Millennium Development Goal 4 for child survival ahead of the target year.
Recent national and regional literacy tests have shown that Malawian students rank among the lowest in the sub-Saharan African region. In fact, in Malawi, 83% of Standard 1 students cannot read a single syllable and 92% cannot read a single word. Additionally, Standard 3 students on average can only read 11 words per minute and 67% cannot identify the first sound, or phoneme, in a word. This poses a major development challenge.
The Engineering Support Program (ESP) will assist the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in providing architectural and engineering services to improve infrastructure related to energy, transportation, drinking water and sanitation, health, education, and agriculture.
Through increased dialogue and engagement in recent years, the United States and Laos have worked to overcome a painful historical legacy to forge a new partnership based on cooperation and mutual respect. Through the newly-established Comprehensive Partnership, the United States and Laos are opening a new era of bilateral relations based on common interests as well as a shared desire to heal the wounds of the past and build a foundation for the future.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supports Libya’s transition to a democratic and peaceful nation. USAID works with civil society, municipal councils, national government, entrepreneurs, and a range of civil society groups, including those representing women and marginalized communities, in their efforts to improve Libyan lives. These partnerships help improve citizen confidence in Libya’s government, both national and local, and support the ongoing democratic transition.
Last updated: January 21, 2017