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Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee release report on sequestration

The Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee released a report summarizing the estimated impacts of sequestration as required by the “Budget Control Act of 2011” (Public Law #112-25), which is scheduled to begin on March 1, 2013. Among other things, the report estimates that sequestration “would force cuts to global…

CRS releases report titled “Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy”

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy.” According to the summary, the “report details legislation and policies that restrict or place requirements on U.S. funding of abortion or family planning activities abroad.”

GAO releases report on trends in U.S. and Chinese economic engagement with Africa

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled, “Sub-Saharan Africa: Trends in U.S. and Chinese Economic Engagement,” which reviews how the U.S. and China are currently engaged with countries in sub-Saharan Africa and examines: “(1) goals and policies in sub-Saharan Africa; (2) trade, grants and loans, and investment activities…

CRS releases report on donor coordination of development assistance

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report titled “Foreign Aid: International Donor Coordination of Development Assistance.” According to the introduction, the “report provides a summary of official development assistance (ODA), discusses coordination goals established by donors at international development policy forums, and provides an overview of U.S. policy and…

Senate confirms John Kerry as Secretary of State

Following approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), the full Senate approved (94-3) the nomination of Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for Secretary of State. President Obama also released a statement on Senator Kerry’s confirmation. Additional Information: Senator Kerry’s remarks at a nomination before the SFRC held on 1/24/13.

Senator Lugar (R-IN) delivers remarks on “Foreign Assistance and Development in a New Era”

During remarks at the Society for International Development, Senator Richard Lugar reiterated Secretary Clinton’s statement that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should “be seen as the premier development agency in the world” and provided several suggestions on how U.S. development efforts could be improved, including:
– Independent Agency: “Development must be an independent partner of diplomacy” due to the inherent differences in mission and timeframe.

- Policy & Budgeting: USAID must be included in relevant policy and budget decisions and “must have the capacity to evaluate programs and disseminate information about best practices and methods.”

- Development Objectives: U.S. development efforts should be “guided by objectives rather than by how we organize our government to deliver development assistance.”

- Leading Agency: A “whole-of-government” approach to development has benefits, but someone needs to lead, be accountable, and coordinate these efforts and “an integrated strategy can only come from an agency that understands development is a separate discipline.”