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S. 1425 – Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive Act of 2009 (GROWTH Act of 2009)

The purpose of GROWTH Act of 2009 as stated in the bill text is “to ensure that the policies of the United States actively promote development and economic opportunities for women.” The bill directs the President to “pay special attention to the needs of women in developing countries” by providing, among other things, “basic health and HIV/AIDS education.”

State Department Releases Fact Sheet on “The U.S. Commitment to Development”

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “The U.S. Commitment to Development” that summarizes the U.S. commitment “to helping the world’s poor through a broad variety of mechanisms.” The fact sheet provides an overview of existing U.S. development programs and initiatives, such as the Millennium Challenge Account and the President’s Global Health Initiative, as well as U.S. involvement in specific issue areas, such as food security, water, and sanitation issues.

State Department releases annual report on water and sanitation strategy in developing countries

As required by the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, the State Department released its 4th annual report to Congress “describing U.S. Government efforts to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improve water resources management and increase water productivity in developing countries.” According to the report, “the United States obligated more than $1 billion for water- and sanitation-related activities in developing countries (excluding Iraq)” and “includes – for the first time – country specific plans for achieving U.S. goals and objectives along with measurable indicators to track progress and report results.”

State Department releases “Trafficking in Persons Report 2009″

The State Department released its ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report which “seeks to increase global awareness of the human trafficking phenomenon by shedding new light on various facets of the problem and highlighting shared and individual efforts of the international community, and to encourage foreign governments to take effective action against all forms of trafficking in persons.”

Secretary of State Clinton provided remarks at the release of the report stating that trafficking “weakens legitimate economies, fuels violence, threatens public health and safety, shatters families, and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for progress.” Secretary Clinton’s remarks were followed by statements from Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Congresswoman Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, 18th), and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Secretary Clinton comments on U.S. approach to address hunger during 2009 World Food Prize Announcement Ceremony

During remarks given at the 2009 World Food Prize announcement ceremony, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that “the Obama Administration is committed to providing leadership in developing a new global approach to hunger.” In her comments, Secretary Clinton summarized a set of principles such as improving agricultural productivity, increasing trade, and maintaining natural resources that will guide U.S. efforts to support sustainable agriculture throughout the world. Secretary Clinton also stated that, in the Administration, “sustainable agriculture won’t be a side project. It is a central element of our foreign policy.”

State Department releases fact sheet titled “One Table: Advancing Agriculture to End Hunger”

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “One Table: Advancing Agriculture to End Hunger” that summarizes U.S. policies aimed at addressing chronic hunger throughout the world. The fact sheet states that the U.S. “objective is to build sustainable agriculture systems so all people have reliable access to nutritious food” and includes a list of “principles” and “key areas” that guide the U.S. approach to address chronic hunger.

Statement by U.S. Delegation at Annual United Nations Population Fund Executive Board Meeting

In a statement at the annual Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), B. Glenn Griffin, representative from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration stated that the U.S. supports the “Program of Action” developed at the International Conference on Population in Cairo (1994) as the “clearest roadmap for meeting the reproductive needs of women around the world” and that the U.S. “strongly encourages and supports UNFPA’s effort to expand access to family planning and maternal health services” in Africa.

Senator John Kerry discusses U.S. Diplomacy and Development

In a speech at the Brookings Institution titled “Diplomacy and Development in the 21st Century: A Conversation with Senator John Kerry,” Senator Kerry summarized his views on the current state of U.S. diplomatic and development institutions and suggested a number of reforms that would “strengthen our civilian institutions to adequately address the challenges of the 21st century.” Some of these reforms include:

- Increasing resources, personnel and training;

- Improving coordination of U.S. foreign assistance programs;

- Clarifying the policies and goals of U.S. foreign assistance;

- Reauthorizing the Foreign Assistance Act; and

- Rebalancing the decision-making process between Washington and the field.

Senator Kerry also announced that he would be “introducing two pieces of legislation: a Foreign Affairs Authorization Act that will authorize the State Department and related accounts, and an initial foreign aid reform bill.”

Secretary of State Clinton testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the FY 2010 budget for the Department of State

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the FY 2010 budget for the Department of State. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton discussed food security, global health issues, and USAID staffing levels.