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.
U.S. Department of State
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€
From the report summary: “This report provides an overview of the U.S. foreign aid program, by answering frequently asked questions on the subject.”
From the report summary: “This report analyzes the FY2009 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action for FY2009. This report will be updated to further reflect congressional action.”
The State Department announced that U.S. Official Development Assistance (ODA) totaled $26.0 billion in 2008 including $4.4 billion for HIV/AIDS related efforts and another $4.4 billion towards humanitarian assistance.
From the report summary: “This report briefly discusses the legislation (State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriation legislation) generally and then provides a short description of the various funding accounts as they appear in Division H, ‘Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2009,’ of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 111-8).”
As part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, the Department of State will contribute $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund in 2009.
In a statement on World Tuberculosis Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listed the ways the U.S. is involved in addressing TB while also stating â€œthere is still much more to be doneâ€ and â€œthe State Department should continue and expand its commitment to reducing the global burden of TB.â€
The U.S. government sent representatives from 10 different agencies to the World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey in order to discuss global water and sanitation issues.