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PEPFAR releases FY 2013 Country Operational Plan Guidance

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) released the “PEPFAR FY 2013 Country Operational Plan (COP) Guidance” outlining the U.S. Government’s (USG) “annual investments and anticipated results in HIV/AIDS and [is] the basis for approval of annual USG bilateral HIV/AIDS funding in most countries.”

GAO releases report on USAID and USDA nonemergency food aid programs

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “U.S. Nonemergency Food Aid Programs Have Similar Objectives but Some Planning Helps Limit Overlap,” which examines the extent to which the nonemergency food aid programs implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pursue similar objectives.

Foreign assistance reform bill introduced in House

Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th) introduced the “Global Partnership Act of 2012” (H.R. 6644). According to a press release from Representative Berman, the bill would reform the U.S. foreign aid system and replace “both the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which covers economic, and development assistance, and the Arms Export Control Act, which deals with arms sales and military aid” The proposed bill includes specific sections addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning and reproductive health, noncommunicable diseases, water, and food security.

Senator Lugar (R-IN) delivers remarks on “Foreign Assistance and Development in a New Era”

During remarks at the Society for International Development, Senator Richard Lugar reiterated Secretary Clinton’s statement that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should “be seen as the premier development agency in the world” and provided several suggestions on how U.S. development efforts could be improved, including:
– Independent Agency: “Development must be an independent partner of diplomacy” due to the inherent differences in mission and timeframe.

- Policy & Budgeting: USAID must be included in relevant policy and budget decisions and “must have the capacity to evaluate programs and disseminate information about best practices and methods.”

- Development Objectives: U.S. development efforts should be “guided by objectives rather than by how we organize our government to deliver development assistance.”

- Leading Agency: A “whole-of-government” approach to development has benefits, but someone needs to lead, be accountable, and coordinate these efforts and “an integrated strategy can only come from an agency that understands development is a separate discipline.”

Secretary Clinton’s remarks on “Development in the 21st Century”

In a speech titled “Development in the 21st Century,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton discussed elevating development as a central pillar of U.S. foreign policy and an intention “to rebuild USAID into the world’s premier development agency.” She emphasized a new commitment to results and outlined six approaches currently underway “to make sure that development delivers lasting results”:

1) Adopt a model of development that emphasizes partnerships with countries, multilateral organizations, NGOs, Universities, and the private sector;

2) Elevate development and integrate development more closely with defense and diplomacy in the field;

3) Improve the coordination of development across federal agencies and reduce reliance on contractors by increasing staff and expertise at USAID and the State Department;

4) Target investment and develop technical excellence in a few key areas, such as health, agriculture, security, education, energy, and local governance;

5) Increase investment in innovation; and

6) Increase investment on women and girls, who are critical to advancing social, economic, and political progress.

President Obama announces new Global Fund pledge and other Administration actions and statements commemorating World AIDS Day

In remarks commemorating World AIDS Day (December 1), which coincided with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) 4th Replenishment Conference being held in Washington, DC, President Obama announced that the U.S. would “contribute $1 for every $2 pledged by other donors over the next three years,…

Administration statements commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women noting, among other things, that “gender-based violence not only undermines human rights, but poses significant obstacles to public health, economic and social development, and long lasting peace.” U.S. Permanent Representative…

President signs “PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013″ into law

President Obama signed the “PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013” (S.1545) into law (Public Law #113-56). The bill, which was originally introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), extends existing authorities for five years and strengthens oversight of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). According to…