Every Day A Mother’s Day

May 6, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

With Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday, Former First Lady Laura Bush recorded a video for the ONE Campaign on maternal and child health. Mrs. Bush makes clear her strong support for International Affairs Budget programs that help mothers and children remain healthy and earn an education, and she urges us to “make every day a Happy Mother’s Day.” Click here to view this moving video.

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Who’s In the News

Clinton Calls on Nations to Cooperate Against Rising Food Costs (Nicole Gaouette – Bloomberg)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the world to fund agriculture and counter the destabilizing effects of food prices close to record highs.  Prices for staples such as corn and rice this year surged to the highest level in more than two years.

A New Voice for Women in US Aid (Ritu Sharma – Huffington Post)

Since its inception, Women Thrive Worldwide has been spearheading the advocacy for the creation of a new high-level position within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help put the needs and voices of women at the center of U.S. foreign assistance in a systematic way. Not just through stand-alone projects in traditional areas like education or health or microcredit, which are necessary, but also across economic assistance, infrastructure, agriculture, political participation and post-conflict programs.

Smart Power

Freedom House supports President’s International Affairs Budget request in new report (Sarah Trister – Freedom House)

As Congress begins to consider Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 spending levels, large cuts have been proposed to many sections of the budget, including foreign affairs.  The President’s request of $61.5 billion for international affairs, of which $37.2 is for foreign assistance, represents a modest portion of the budget that is vital to protecting national security and promoting American foreign policy abroad.

SASC should seek answers on its questions on pooled-funds (Rebecca Williams – The Will and the Wallet)

The proliferation of US security assistance programs and authorities isn’t solved by one more workaround. Congress must favor a more fundamental restructuring over the short-sighted addition of new authorities and programs, thereby helping to integrate the expanded US security assistance architecture with broader foreign policy goals.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Foreign policy dominates GOP debate in South Carolina (Kasie Hunt – Politico)

The first Republican presidential primary debate — with some of the key contenders AWOL — kicked off the nomination fight Thursday with shots at President Barack Obama’s domestic and foreign policy.

Lawmakers call for tougher restrictions on aid to Pakistan (John T. Bennett – The Hill)

The call on Capitol Hill for tougher restrictions on aid to Pakistan intensified Thursday, with lawmakers from both political parties saying the time is ripe for reining in the U.S.’s inconstant ally.  Congress may try to accomplish this by placing new stipulations on the billions of dollars in annual aid Washington sends to Islamabad in return for Pakistan’s cooperation in the Afghan war.

Egypt rejects US aid offer (William Fisher – The Public Record)

Egypt has rejected an offer of $150 million in US aid to help overcome the economic losses triggered by the January 25th Revolution and to support the country’s embryonic process of democratization.