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Senator Webb requests MCC cease funding to non-U.S. companies in Africa

In a letter to Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Daniel Yohannes, Senator Jim Webb expressed concern over awarding MCC development projects to non-U.S. companies in Africa, specifically Chinese state-owned business, and requested MCC “immediately cease action on these and any other projects not awarded to U.S. companies.”

Congressional Budget Office – Cost Estimate of S. 2971: Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “estimates that implementing the bill would cost $24.3 billion over the 2011-2015 period . . . [and] that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $53 million over the 2011-2020 period.”

S. 3797 – Education for All Act of 2010

The proposed bill would establish U.S. policy and principles aimed at achieving universal education and would require the President to develop a strategy “to promote quality universal basic education by 2015.” While the proposed bill is primarily focused on education, it also includes improving health conditions part of the guiding principles and overall education strategy. Specifically, the bill states that the U.S. should “utilize schools as the foundation for communities’ development and integrate assistance programs, including health and development programs, such as nutrition [and] school feeding programs” and that the U.S. should work to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems “by equipping teachers with the skills needed for HIV/AIDS prevention and support for persons with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS.”

H.Con.Res. 318 – Supporting the ideals and objectives of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and related Millennium Development Goals and calling on the President to ensure the United States contributes meaningfully to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015

Among other things, the resolution states that Congress “supports the ideals and objectives of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and related Millennium Development Goals and targets . . . calls on the President to ensure the United States contributes meaningfully to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals . . . [and] encourages the President to recommend and work in coordination with Congress to implement reforms to United States foreign assistance programs in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

CRS Report – The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting

In preparation for the September 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit, this report provides an overview of the MDGs as well as progress towards meeting the goals and lessons learned. The report also summarizes the role of the MDGs in U.S. development policy under both the Bush and Obama Administrations. Finally, the report highlights several policy issues for Congress including: the practicality of the MDGs, aid effectiveness, selective use of aid, and accountability.

S. 624 – Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009

The bill would create an “Office of Water” at USAID headed by a “Director for Safe Water and Sanitation” with the responsibility of implementing the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-121) and meeting the goal of providing 100 million people with safe water and sanitation by 2015. The bill also creates the position of “Special Coordinator for International Water” at the State Department with the responsibility of coordinating U.S. diplomatic policy in relation to other international issues. The bill authorizes appropriations in the amount that “may be necessary to carry out this Act.”

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced and referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 17, 2009.

- Reported favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 13, 2010.

- Passed the Senate by unanimous consent on September 20, 2010.

Statement by Representative Berman on foreign aid reform and new U.S. Global Development Policy

In response to President Obama’s speech at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit and the announcement of a new U.S. Global Development Policy, Representative Berman released a statement expressing his commitment to foreign aid reform and willingness to work with the Administration to turn the principles of the new development policy “into legislation that will maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of United States foreign assistance.”

Statement by Senator Kerry on new U.S. Global Development Policy

In response to President Obama’s announcement of a new U.S. Global Development Policy, Senator Kerry released a statement expressing his support of the new policy and his willingness to work “with the Administration as well as my colleagues in the House of Representatives and Senate, to enact these new reforms into law.”

Representatives Berman and Ros-Lehtinen provide opening remarks at a Congressional hearing on PEPFAR

Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th – Chair) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, 18th – Ranking Member) provided opening remarks during a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs titled “PEPFAR: From Emergency to Sustainability and Advances Against HIV/AIDS.” Representatives Berman and Ros-Lehtinen described the successes of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to date, the need to continue to focus on treatment as well as prevention, and emphasized the U.S. commitment to combating HIV/AIDS.

After opening remarks, the Committee took testimony from U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden.

H. Res. 1692 – Supporting the goals and ideals of the “International Day for the Eradication of Poverty”

The resolution highlights the negative impacts of poverty including a World Health Organization (WHO) finding “that poverty-related diseases are caused by the negative impacts of poverty, including poor nutrition, lack of proper sanitation and clean water, indoor air pollution, and low access to health care and education”, and states that the “House of Representatives supports the goals and ideals of the ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’.”