Speeches

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Moderator: Good afternoon to everyone from the Department of State’s Dubai Regional Media Hub. I would like to welcome our participants dialing in from the Middle East and around the world for this on-the-record press briefing with John Barsa, Acting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. Today, Acting Administrator Barsa will discuss humanitarian assistance to Lebanon.

We will begin today’s briefing with opening remarks from Acting Administrator Barsa, then open the floor for questions. Joining Acting Administrator Barsa on the line are Michael Harvey, the USAID Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau, and Max Primorac, the USAID Acting Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.

We are pleased to offer simultaneous interpretation for this briefing in Arabic. With that in mind, we request that everyone speak slowly.

I’ll now turn it over to Acting Administrator Barsa for his opening remarks. Sir, the floor is yours.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 3:15pm

I started today by talking about shared principles. Digital technology and security is one of the areas where principles of freedom and transparency matter most. I know that Ambassador Haskel and I are on the same page about this, and we see this as a ripe opportunity for advancing the USAID-MASHAV partnership, from both a government and private sector perspective. I have a background in business, and I’ve dedicated my time at USAID to deepening engagement between the development community and the private sector. Seeing both of these communities come together brings me great joy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 11:00am

At USAID, we believe that the contributions of women are critical to a country’s political, economic, and social development. That’s why women’s empowerment is an integral part of USAID’s work.  Investing in women is not only the smart thing to do; it’s a priority for countries around the world, because engaging with women can unlock human potential on a transformational scale. Our mission at AID is to build a more free, stable, and prosperous world.  Our assistance lifts lives, bolsters communities, and advances women as integral members of their communities along those countries’ journeys to self-reliance.

Monday, July 20, 2020 - 9:00am

In 2019, the Deal Room helped originate more than $200 million in investment commitments for African businesses. We are excited to see even more deals done in 2020 and together, drive agricultural growth in Africa. Many people don’t know this, but I am a smallholder farmer myself. So I understand the challenges of being part of the agriculture sector and the roles that farmers and agribusiness play in the economy -- whether in local communities or around the world.

Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 11:30am

[As prepared]

Good morning, everyone. I’d like to thank the Caspian Policy Center for organizing today’s discussion. Thank you for having me. 

For more than 25 years, USAID has partnered with the people of Central Asia to accelerate their countries’ development, promote stability, and foster regional connectivity and cooperation among the five states—including with Afghanistan. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 2:00pm

Earlier this year, in fact, the United States Government launched the Central Asia Strategy. To implement the strategy, USAID is leveraging new openings for reform-oriented development and interregional connectivity, expanding on our successes, and scaling up our programs. Our focus is on strengthening democratic institutions, promoting economic cooperation, and fostering energy independence to build a more secure and prosperous Central Asia.

Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 3:45pm

The future of clean, sustainable energy begins with us. Together, we have the expertise and the resources to make a difference. Even with the challenges brought by COVID-19, we can use this opportunity to pursue policy and regulatory measures that will link recovery with sustainable energy development. I’d like to close by quoting USAID’s Private Sector Engagement Policy: “Businesses and investors create jobs. They develop and fund technologies and innovation. And they provide critical goods and services.” For USAID and its partner countries, this means that all of you—the private sector—are more than just important stakeholders. You are indispensable partners on countries’ Journeys to Self-Reliance.  

Friday, Tháng năm 29, 2020 - 12:15pm

Let me begin by making a point that too often is overlooked: Foreign assistance is not just a numbers game. It’s not just who has written checks, and for how much, and to whom. Foreign assistance is a reflection of a nation’s core principles and values. America’s use of smart power has always been a reflection of our values, from our moment of independence. In fact, you could argue that the most powerful and important tool we’ve given the world is the Declaration of Independence.

Wednesday, Tháng năm 27, 2020 - 5:00pm

USAID Mekong Safeguards promotes smarter, more sustainable infrastructure development to prevent environmental damage and depletion of natural resources in the Lower Mekong region. The project aims to ensure that large-scale infrastructure is planned and developed in ways that optimize sustainable social, economic, and environmental outcomes. To that end, I’m proud to help officially launch the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker. This user-friendly tracker is the most comprehensive online platform on energy, water, and transportation infrastructure projects in the Lower Mekong region.

Wednesday, Tháng năm 20, 2020 - 9:00am

Today, much of our work occurs under the umbrella of addressing fragility and fostering resilience. Through targeted, multi-sectoral assistance we aim to prevent crises before they occur; stabilize those that do; and create conditions that serve as bulwarks to external shocks. Of course, the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought even greater urgency to the imperative to address global fragility.

Friday, April 10, 2020 - 6:15pm

Today marks my final day at the helm of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It has been an extraordinary privilege to work with partners like you in pursuit of a safer, freer, and more prosperous world, and I know that you'll continue to provide invaluable support to USAID's mission. Before I step away, I wanted to provide an update on the Agency's COVID-19 response efforts.

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Last updated: August 14, 2020

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