Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry (D-Mass.) released a bill (.pdf) on Wednesday that would authorize FY12 and FY13 funding for the State Department and foreign operations, as well as key programs and initiatives, Foreign Policy’s blog “The Cable” reports.
Programs, Funding & Financing
India plans to establish a central foreign aid agency, “believed to be modeled on” USAID, “to prevent funds from being misused and delays in aid delivery,” the Guardian reports. “The agency will reportedly be called the Indian Agency for Partnership in Development, overseeing $11.3bn (Rs 50,000 crore) over the next five to seven years,” the newspaper writes.
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act “that slashes State Department funding and foreign aid,” The Hill’s “On The Money” blog reports (Wasson, 7/26).
Following a House Foreign Affairs Committee vote last week to reinstate and expand the “global gag rule” in the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (HR 2583), GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog features an interview with “Craig Lasher, theÂ director of U.S. government relations at Population Action International, about the global gag rule,…
Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s international development secretary, and Kevin Rudd, Australia’s foreign minister, describe their countries’ responses to the drought and famine in East Africa in an Independent opinion piece. “The U.N. appeals are still underfunded by almost $1 billion. Britain and Australia urge the rest of the world to join them to work to prevent this humanitarian disaster turning into a catastrophe on a scale of the 1984 Ethiopian famine,” they write.
At an emergency meeting at the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday, the agency announced “there will be a donors pledging conference Wednesday in Nairobi to raise as much as $1.6 billion to help fight famine in Somalia and other drought-stricken populations in East Africa,” the Associated Press/Forbes reports (7/25). Prior to the meeting, the World Bank “announced it is providing more than $500 million to assist drought victims, in addition to $12 million in immediate assistance to help those worst hit by the crisis,” a World Bank press release states (7/25).
In a Daily Caller opinion piece, Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria, highlights a finding in a recent malaria report that the U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “were responsible for 85% of the steep increase in malaria funding between 2007 and 2009.” But “[i]f 30 African heads of state were to give up their private jets, a fund of well over $500 million could be generated,” Tren writes.
“Institutional donor aid in 2010 was at its highest-ever level â€“ US$16.7 billion â€“ but so were aid costs,” according to preliminary estimates in the annual report of the international aid watchdog Development Initiatives, which was released on Wednesday, IRIN reports. The article summarizes several findings from the report, including that “the top five aid recipients â€“ Sudan, oPt [occupied Palestinian territory], Iraq, Afghanistan and Ethiopia â€“ have remained among the top 10 aid recipients over the past decade” (7/20).
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed on Wednesday “issued an urgent appeal for international aid” for famine assistance in his country during an exclusive interview with CNN at his residence in Mogadishu. “The situation is very severe. The conditions are very harsh,” he said (7/21).
In a post on USAID’s “IMPACTblog,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah describes the U.S. response to the drought in the Horn of Africa, as well as his visit on Wednesday to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. “Since October 2010, the U.S. Government has provided $459 million in life-saving aid to…