Among other things, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to contribute $3.7 billion to the International Development Association for the 15th replenishment of resources and an additional $356 million “to the International Development Association for the purpose of funding debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.” The bill also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to “seek to ensure that multilateral development banks rigorously evaluate the development impact of selected bank projects, programs, and financing operations.” Finally, the bill requires the Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a study in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and other Federal agencies “on the respective roles each agency plays in the formulation of United States policy concerning the development policy, programs, and activities of the World Bank Group.”
U.S. Department of State
The State Department released a fact sheet titled “American ‘Smart Power': Diplomacy and Development Are the Vanguard” summarizing U.S. foreign policy goals and the tools available to address a wide range of challenges abroad including food security and pandemic disease.
In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton summarized how the State Department is assisting and coordinating with other U.S. departments and agencies to address the H1N1 virus. Secretary Clinton testified that the State Department has established an influenza monitoring group, is “tracking how other governments are responding to the threat and what assistance we might offer,” and is in regular contact with the World Health Organization (WHO). Secretary Clinton also discussed food security and staffing needs in relation to the FY09 War Supplemental Request.
The State Department released a “100-Day Report” summarizing the “objectives” and “accomplishments” established by the new administration under the direction of Secretary of State Clinton. The report includes statements on recent budget increases, the use of “smart power,” and commitments to health and providing health services abroad.
President Obama nominated Eric Goosby for Ambassador at Large and Global AIDS Coordinator at the Department of State.
Among other things, the bill states that “child marriage undermines United States investments in foreign assistance . . . to reduce maternal and child mortality, reduce maternal illness, halt the transmission of HIV/AIDS [and] prevent gender-based violence.” The bill requires the President to establish a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and authorizes the President to implement a variety of foreign assistance programs directed at the needs of girls including “access to water and suitable hygiene facilities . . . [and] access to health care services and proper nutrition for adolescent girls.” The bill authorizes “such sums as necessary.”
President Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, U.S. Malaria Coordinator Admiral Tim Ziemer, and NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. summarized and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the fight against malaria in official statements observing World Malaria Day.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the State Department’s FY09 supplemental budget request. In the opening remarks, Secretary Clinton addressed food security and the need to reform both State and USAID.
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.
The bill would create an â€œOffice of Waterâ€ at USAID headed by a â€œDirector for Safe Water and Sanitationâ€ 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 â€œSpecial Coordinator for International Waterâ€ 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 â€œmay be necessary to carry out this Act.â€