The folks at ONE are reminding us that the law governing U.S. foreign aid policy was written in 1961, when Kennedy was president, roughly half of Africa was still under colonial rule, and the Beatles were just a bar band in Liverpool. I am basically just passing on what they said plus, as usual, adding a few links to provide more information.
So they want us all to take opportunity to bring our foreign assistance into the 21st century, so its is, as they say, better reflecting American ingenuity, generosity and values and more effectively fighting global poverty.
The idea is to call your senator(s) and tell them to "upgrade aid" now by cosponsoring the bipartisan Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524):
Mine in California are:
- Senator Dianne Feinstein
Phone: (888) 441-3347
- Senator Barbara Boxer
Phone: (888) 441-3346
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to discuss this bill next Tuesday, September 22. To get S. 1524 moved on to the full Senate, we need to show support now for making U.S. aid programs better and smarter. Call your senator(s) today:
Introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), S. 1524 strengthens our ability to identify which aid programs work and which don't. It empowers USAID—the U.S. agency responsible for international development—to improve staff expertise and strategic planning; increase transparency and accountability; coordinate U.S. development programs; and align those programs with what's important to beneficiaries on the ground.
U.S. foreign assistance has saved millions of lives, and thanks to your support for results-focused initiatives such as PEPFAR, the Global Fund and the Millennium Challenge Account, many of our investments are making a difference. But the way much of our aid is organized and delivered leaves room for an upgrade.