It is my great pleasure to see all of you here today for the “Launch of the Prey Lang Landscape Biodiversity Assessment Report.” Protecting Cambodia’s natural resources is a priority for the U.S. government and we are proud to have supported this important initiative.
USAID works closely with the Cambodian government to preserve and sustainably manage its forests and rich biodiversity. Our Supporting Forests and Biodiversity Project, which funds this Biodiversity Assessment, is one of the main ways that we do this.
Ramadan is probably best known for the ritual of daily fasting. But Ramadan is also a time for reflection, devotion, generosity, discipline, and sacrifice. And for all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the values of peace, of sharing, of family and community are universal values that we all share -- regardless of faith or nationality.
It is a great honor for me to be in a room full of people committed to combating trafficking in persons. The United States Government and I, personally, care deeply about this issue. Let me first thank Microsoft and Ms. Tony Town-Whitley for hosting this conference and the United Nations agencies for their contributions. The United States is proud to join Microsoft and the UN in their commitment to combat human trafficking.
Good afternoon, Ambassador Michael McKinley, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, HE Humayoon Rasaw, Minister of Commerce and Industries, HE Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Minister of Finance, distinguished guests. I am pleased to welcome you here to the American Embassy for the launch of the Afghanistan Investment Climate Reform program, continuing the important work USAID and the IFC/World Bank Group have undertaken to strengthen the business climate in Afghanistan.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. I am very pleased to be here at today’s event. I congratulate the Ministry of Public Health for launching the Health Economic Exchange Forum.
Greetings, opening remarks and formalities
Today we are celebrating an important event – and reminding ourselves to stay focused on ensuring becoming a mother is an occasion of joy, not tragedy.
Reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality and morbidity remain among the highest priorities of the Ministry of Public Health and of the United States Agency for International Development both here in Afghanistan and globally.
Afghanistan has made remarkable achievements over the last 12 years, some of the most dramatic of which are in the growing access to health care services and the resulting improvement in health outcomes. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of the Ministry of Public Health, and with the support of USAID and the international community, maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan have declined by 80 percent and child mortality rates by almost 50 percent.
I’m delighted to see all of you here, coming together to address climate change, one of the most critical challenges facing our planet. You gather in this beautiful town at an auspicious time, as later this year the world’s leaders will gather in Paris to develop a new global strategy to address climate change.
On behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), I would like to congratulate the Provincial Government of Leyte for the newly established Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office that will be inaugurated today. It is an honor to be here with you to celebrate this milestone as you work towards a climate resilient Leyte.
One of the most common questions I have received over the past eight months has been, “after more than 30 years in the army — and having served as ambassador to Tanzania, why did you come to USAID?” Well to me, the answer is simple. Having deployed across the world, I have seen how the United States’ development efforts represent the vanguard of our national and economic security.
Because time and again, we have seen the intersection of extreme ideology, extreme poverty, and extreme climate routinely push millions of people to the edge of survival and challenge our collective security. To confront these realities, USAID is focusing — as an agency — with renewed energy on answering President Obama’s call to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Last updated: September 26, 2016