There is good news in Congress this week – Republicans and Democrats have come together, once again, to strengthen the impact of American food aid around the world with the introduction of a new bill by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
Today marks the tenth Annual Letter from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a landmark anniversary for such an influential voice in the development community. And this year’s Letter takes a slightly different tact, with Bill and Melinda Gates answering the “10 Tough Questions” they are most often asked about their work and their foundation. To commemorate a decade of notes, here are three top takeaways on global aid.
With time running out for Congress to meet a midnight funding deadline, the possibility of a government shutdown looms large. And though many in Washington are holding out hope for a last-minute deal to keep the government open, it’s worth taking a look at how a shutdown would impact America’s diplomatic and development programs overseas.
With mounting challenges overseas– from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, to devastating famines, to tension with North Korea – this year has shown us that American global leadership is more important now than ever before. And as the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up our top ten blogs of 2017 – the inspiring stories of U.S. foreign assistance, it’s impact around the world and here at home.
2017 brought a steady stream of challenges and changes to U.S. foreign policy and development assistance – from a new Administration taking the reins, to a budget proposal that sent shockwaves through Washington, to a steady drumbeat of support for American global leadership. We’ve gathered 12 of the top stories from the past year – one from each month – that you won’t want to miss.
At the heart of USAID Administrator Mark Green’s vision for the agency is “to end the need for its existence,” and a desire to transition countries that may no longer need development assistance to a new relationship with the United States. But against the backdrop of the proposed 32% cut to the International Affairs Budget, there have been some concerns that “transitions” could serve as a cover for cutting aid budgets and closing missions.
Last month, former presidential candidate and liberal icon Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) traveled to America’s heartland to lay out his vision of a progressive foreign policy. Speaking at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Sanders’ hour-long speech outlining how he views America’s role in the world was the most comprehensive of his career to date.
A chorus of voices – from top military leaders, to retired generals and admirals, to business owners, and the faith community – have spoken out in support of America’s diplomatic and development programs. On Capitol Hill – where funding levels will ultimately be determined – lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made clear early on that the Administration’s budget was “dead on arrival.” And they didn’t stop there.
After sailing through his nomination hearing with strong bipartisan support, senators on the Foreign Relations Committee and other development leaders have called for a speedy confirmation for Ambassador Mark Green as the 18th Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development. While he will face a host of other challenges— including the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, and a budget proposal that seeks drastic cuts to USAID— he remains hopeful about the opportunities and improvements that have been made at the agency.
Last week, the chorus of voices in support of America’s diplomacy and development programs reverberated across Capitol Hill as Cabinet officials testified on the Administration’s proposal to cut the International Affairs Budget by a draconian and disproportionate 32%.