Congressional Testimony

Thứ Tư, Tháng ba 21, 2018

Thank you, Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, members of the committee. I appreciate this opportunity to discuss USAID's Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request. It is wonderful to be back in this room, as a couple of you have already noted. I served on this committee during my time in the House. Of course, back then it was called the "House International Relations Committee," and we were, shall we say, more of a rag-tag bunch than the distinguished ladies and gentlemen that I see here before me. But even so, today feels like I'm coming home.

I'd like to begin my remarks by expressing my gratitude to Secretary Tillerson for his leadership over the past year, and for his service to the nation. I also welcome the nomination of Director Pompeo. While he and I have not had an opportunity to speak since his nomination, I very much look forward to our future in-depth discussions on how development and diplomacy can go hand-in-hand in advancing America's interests around the world. In the meantime, at USAID, we have urgent work to do. From the unprecedented humanitarian challenges in places like Syria and Somalia, to exciting development opportunities through expanded private sector engagement, and the extension of programs like Feed the Future, the work of our Agency has never been more important.

Thứ Tư, Tháng ba 14, 2018

The President’s national security strategy states that America should target threats at their source, catalyze international response to man-made and natural disasters and provide to those in need. As the 2016 Global Food Security Act states, “It is in the national interest of the United States to promote global food security.” A food-secure world where people are not worried about their children going to bed hungry is in the U.S. interest: stability helps ward off future conflict and prosperity opens new markets for U.S. exports and trade.

Thứ Tư, Tháng mười một 15, 2017

Strong and effective information technology systems are essential to USAID achieving its mission in a modern world. As a relatively small agency with a relatively small IT budget managing a worldwide network, USAID has no choice but to embrace efficient IT. USAID is proud to have received the first A rating ever given under the FITARA Scorecard; our score reflects years of hard work to put in place key reforms to address the deficiencies of prior years.

Thứ Năm, Tháng mười một 9, 2017

Good afternoon Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today about the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is always an honor to have the opportunity to discuss our work with supporters of Africa. For me personally, it is a pleasure to be back testifying before this Subcommittee.

Thứ Tư, Tháng mười một 8, 2017

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen and Chairman Yoho, Ranking Members Deutch and Sherman, and Members of the Subcommittees, thank you for inviting me here to discuss the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thứ Tư, Tháng mười một 1, 2017

General Votel of U.S. Central Command put it this way: “There is a lot that the military can do, but it is extraordinarily important that our diplomats, our Department of State, our other development agencies, and others are involved in this process as well.”

Thứ Ba, Tháng mười 24, 2017

The recent escalation in violence in northern Rakhine State has resulted in massive displacement and humanitarian needs both in Burma and across the border in neighboring Bangladesh. This is a rapidly growing humanitarian crisis, and the United States is responding to save lives. Recent events not only imperil the lives of thousands, but also mark a decision point for Burma’s political and military leadership, with the world watching.

Thứ Năm, Tháng mười 19, 2017

The four conflict-zones of South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen alone account for more than 20 million people at risk of severe hunger or starvation and all face a credible threat of famine. In recent months, the United States has announced more than $1.5 billion in additional humanitarian assistance to these areas since May, including food assistance, bringing total U.S. humanitarian assistance to these countries to nearly $3.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2017. This assistance has saved the lives of millions and helped to avert famine and contain other deadly diseases like cholera from spreading further.

Thứ Tư, Tháng mười 11, 2017

Lebanon remains a high priority for the United States. Since 2006, with the support of Congress, the United States has provided approximately $1.2 billion in economic assistance to the Lebanese people. Together with USAID’s technical expertise, these funds have played a critical role in promoting Lebanon’s stability and security through programs focused on good governance, advancing access to education and clean water, and supporting social cohesion. As Deputy Assistant Secretary Ratney outlined, Lebanon is facing many challenges. The spillover from the Syria crisis has weakened the Lebanese economy, and put excessive pressure on the delivery of services. Many schools are overcrowded, food prices have escalated, and basic health delivery services are overwhelmed. Power, water and sanitation services do not meet the people's needs, and tensions between Lebanese host communities and the Syrian refugee population have intensified. Investment and trade with neighbors has slowed; tourism is down sharply from 2010; and unemployment has nearly doubled since 2012.

In the context of these challenges, I would like to talk briefly about how USAID’s programming is helping local partners deliver services across Lebanon, supporting Lebanon’s private sector, and enhancing inclusive economic growth. Strong local Lebanese communities empower the Lebanese people, and can serve as an alternative to extremist elements.

Thứ Tư, Tháng mười 11, 2017

United States assistance is having a transformative impact in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2000 and 2015, the percentage of Africans living in extreme poverty has declined from 57 to 41 percent; under-5 mortality rates have declined from 154 per 1,000 births to 74 children per thousand in 2015; and African school primary enrollment rates have increased from 61 percent in 2000 to 79 percent in 2014.

These dramatic changes were the result of sustained efforts by African governments, with essential support from aid donors, foundations, and non-governmental organizations. Throughout USAID’s history, we have confronted some of the world’s greatest development challenges, and along with our partners, we have demonstrated that our work can and does have a measurable impact. Even so, every program should look forward to the day when it can end. So every USAID mission must continuously evaluate how each program dollar moves a country closer to that day.

Thứ Năm, Tháng mười 5, 2017

In response to the latest violence, USAID is responding on both sides of the Burma/Bangladesh border, providing humanitarian assistance where possible, as well as helping host communities cope with the influx of refugees in Bangladesh, and addressing intercommunal tensions in ethnically mixed areas of Rakhine in Burma, including those not directly affected by recent violence. As a foreign service officer who lived on the Thailand-Burma border sixteen years ago working with migrants and refugees, Burma is for me, as I know many others, a special place that has influenced my path in international human rights and development. In my testimony, I will touch on the issues USAID is responding to in the current crisis, and highlight some of the challenges we face in attempting to provide assistance, and bring a lasting resolution to this crisis.

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Last updated: March 21, 2018

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