Congressional Testimony

Thứ Tư, May 18, 2016

Introduction

Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.

USAID is deeply committed to supporting democratic governance in Africa as part of our mission to end extreme poverty and promote democratic, resilient societies.  Africa is on the rise; the continent has some of the youngest populations and fastest growing economies in the world, yet extreme poverty remains concentrated in its fragile states.  Development is not sustainable without a legitimate, responsible government that can deliver services in an inclusive manner as well as a vibrant civil society that channels citizen interests and promotes accountability.

Elections are not the sole marker of democracy—especially as some incumbents in Africa and elsewhere narrow or close altogether the space for competition, participation, and a free press long before an election is held.  A healthy democracy requires checks and balances—a strong judiciary and legislature, competitive political parties, a free press, respect for human rights, and an engaged civil society.

Thứ Ba, May 10, 2016

The United States has a powerful tool to prevent conflict and instability: international development. As the U.S. Government’s primary development agency, USAID has long recognized the critical role of development in addressing social, economic, governance, and other legitimate grievances that can fuel violent extremism and promote radicalization of individuals and communities. It is also important to build counter-violent extremism messaging into programming, especially in local languages that can reach vulnerable populations. Our activities and interventions are designed to reduce extremists’ opportunities to exploit social injustice, lack of political integration, economic inequality, religious persecution, and ideological extremism to recruit followers to violent agendas or criminal networks.

Thứ Tư, April 27, 2016

Today, I would like to highlight the worsening humanitarian crisis that the South Sudanese people face and how USAID has adapted its efforts to help them despite serious challenges. I will discuss our life-saving aid, as well as our long-term assistance to provide basic services, improve livelihoods, and mend the deep societal rifts in South Sudan. USAID’s mission is to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity—nowhere more so than in a country as desperately in need as South Sudan.

Thứ Tư, April 27, 2016

For more than fifty years, USAID has led our nation’s efforts to advance dignity and prosperity around the world, both as an expression of core American values and to help build peaceful, open, and flourishing partners for the United States. This is particularly important in those countries closest to our shores: the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Thứ Ba, April 19, 2016

With renewed commitment from Northern Triangle countries to advance their own development goals, and our government’s support, USAID is well placed for success. Our programs are strategically designed to confront current challenges while also enabling countries to better address emerging threats. As we have seen with the Zika outbreak and the prolonged drought, preparation and coordination are crucial to mitigating the effects of, and developing a response to, the crises and natural disasters that the region regularly faces. Political will, in combination with improved local capacity, leveraged resources and new partnerships, will allow us to help Central American governments create a more peaceful, prosperous, and integrated region.

Thứ Ba, April 19, 2016

President Barack Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request for Department of State and USAID foreign assistance in the East Asia-Pacific region is $873 million — a 12 percent increase over FY 2015. This request is in recognition that America’s security and prosperity are inextricably tied to the region, and it enables us to consolidate the gains in the East Asia-Pacific made under the Obama Administration as we transition to the next Administration — paving the way for sustained partnership with this increasingly consequential part of the world.

Thứ Tư, April 13, 2016

While the current era of unrest is being driven by inter-related and deeply-rooted political, economic, and social forces over which the United States has only limited influence, it is critical to U.S. national security interests that we maintain our engagement with people throughout the region. The region’s pre-existing challenges – poor quality education, healthcare, and other public services, coupled with lack of political and economic opportunity – were at the core of many of the uprisings that began five years ago. With few exceptions, people’s grievances have largely still not been addressed.

Thứ Tư, April 13, 2016

Violent conflict, fragility and violent extremism cross borders and present significant threats to both regional and international security. The costs of conflict — in a developmental, economic and human sense— are extraordinary. We must address the development-related factors that drive instability and the plight of the 1.5 billion people living in conflict and fragility around the world.

Thứ Ba, April 12, 2016

Just as we have faced other global threats with defense, diplomacy and development, so, too, must we use these tools to prevent violent extremism. Understanding the underlying “drivers” and identifying effective responses to address the root causes of the spread of violent extremism is critical. USAID is in a unique position as the United States Government’s lead development agency to address these underlying drivers. It is not an “either” “or” question of which tool to use, but rather a matter of effectively utilizing all of the elements of what we know to work. With that said, USAID’s efforts are essential but not sufficient. We must engage in a comprehensive approach in order to defeat this growing threat.

Thứ Ba, March 15, 2016

For less than one percent of the federal budget, the President’s request keeps us on this path. The request will provide the resources we need to deliver against our most urgent priorities and to advance our mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies around the world while remaining consistent with the levels set in the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act. Overall, the FY 2017 budget request for the State Department and USAID is $50.1 billion, $35.2 billion of which is Enduring, and $14.9 billion of which is Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

Thứ Ba, March 1, 2016

As a core pillar of American leadership and power, global development works together with defense and diplomacy to advance our interests and values abroad, and to protect the American people at home. With less than one percent of the federal budget, USAID supports critical development activities and the courageous development professionals who carry them out in challenging, often dangerous, conditions every day. In total, the President’s funding request for accounts from which USAID administers assistance is $22.7 billion. $11.0 billion of this total is in core USAID-managed accounts: 1) Development Assistance; 2) Global Health Programs-USAID; 3) International Disaster Assistance; 4) Food for Peace Title II; 5) Transition Initiatives; 6) Complex Crises Fund and 7) USAID Administrative Expense accounts.

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Last updated: May 25, 2016

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