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Representative Berman states U.S. needs comprehensive foreign assistance strategy

Responding to a Government Accountability Report (GAO) on Foreign Aid Reform, Congressman Berman stated that “the findings of a GAO report issued today prove the need for a comprehensive strategy for U.S. foreign assistance efforts”. The Congressman also stated he “would soon introduce legislation to ensure that the United States has a comprehensive strategy to reduce global poverty and promote broad-based economic growth in developing countries.”

GAO Report – Foreign Aid Reform: Comprehensive Strategy, Interagency Coordination, and Operational Improvements Would Bolster Current Efforts

At the request of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th), the General Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an analysis of an effort initiated in January 2006 by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “to better align foreign assistance programs with U.S. foreign policy.” Recommendations made by the GAO to improve this alignment process include developing a government wide foreign assistance strategy, improving interdepartmental communications, and establishing a long-term workforce management plan.

S.Con.Res 18 – A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of World Malaria Day, and reaffirming United States leadership and support for efforts to combat malaria

Among other things, the resolution expresses support for achieving the target of ending malaria deaths by 2015, reaffirms the U.S. commitment to combat malaria, and urges improved coordination among U.S. and other international health programs.

H.R. 2030 – 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.”

H.R. 1388 – The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides legislative authorization for the Volunteers for Prosperity program (VfP). VfP was created in 2003 by Executive Order to promote the voluntary service of Americans abroad. VfP provides volunteers with stipends to cover travel and living expenses. The bill creates an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” (VfP) within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), establishes a set of program objectives addressing a range of health care challenges in developing countries, and authorizes $10 million for 2010.

S.Res. 90 – A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Fifth Summit of the Americas

The bill expresses the sense of the Senate “that the United States is prepared to work with the countries of the Western Hemisphere” in a variety of areas including: “continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS, vector-borne, and noncommunicable diseases; recommitting to the Millennium Development Goals; and supporting investment in public health.”

H.R. 1878 – Global Autism Assistance Act of 2009

The proposed bill would establish a grant program to train health and education professionals working with autistic children and to support organizations focused on autism. The grant program would be overseen by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and would be appropriated $3 million FY 2010, $3 million in FY 2011, and $4 million in FY 2012.