This blog endeavors to support the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign by supporting the actions of a number of advocacy organizations including ONE. These actions often involve supporting the many different laws focused on the Millennium Development Goal to End Hunger.
Just before Thanksgiving, I sent in my comments urging my Congressional representative (Republican) to sign on to the Berman-Kirk letter requesting a robust International Affairs Budget. I was told that he would take it under advisement.
Well, whether he supported it or not (not), the overall Berman-Kirk FY2011 Budget Campaign was a Resounding Success and a bipartisan one.
A victory in the fight to "Upgrade Aid" occured when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 to pass the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act (S.1524) through their committee.
The bill we passed today…is the product of well over a year of research and analysis by Senators and their staffs. It has attracted the support of most development groups, led by the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. It is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 19 Senators, twelve of whom are members of this Committee. This level of backing for a bill related to foreign assistance structure is extremely rare. It provides an opportunity to build something approaching a consensus on this issue.Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Committee Ranking Member
This legislation demonstrates Congress’s commitment to strengthening the capacity, accountability and effectiveness of our foreign aid programs. With the U.S. facing critical foreign policy and development priorities worldwide, it is vital that we update our foreign aid programs to reflect the new challenges of the 21st century.Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman
I’ve been able to see our foreign assistance dollars in action and am proud of the role we are playing in producing positive change in the lives of millions around the world, but at the same time, I share the frustration of many Americans that our foreign assistance efforts have often lacked transparency, coordination, monitoring and evaluation. This bill begins to reinvigorate USAID to improve the coordination, execution and efficiency of U.S. assistance so we can make each dollar go farther.Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on International Development
and Foreign Assistance
This is one of the most significant pieces of foreign assistance legislation that has passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in decades. I am proud that this is truly a bi-partisan bill, developed in a collaborative manner and that it includes input from a wide range of voices. These programs are critical to millions of people around the world, they contribute to our mutual economic health, and are in the direct national security interests of the United States.Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance
Over 47,000 ONE members signed the petition
19 senators signed on—
9 of these since the campaign was first launched.
Sheila Nix, the U.S. Executive Director, ONE.org tells us that the next step for aid reform will be the White House Presidential Study Directive on U.S. global development, which General Jim Jones and Dr. Larry Summers are working on right now. Stay tuned to the ONE Blog and your email for updates and opportunities to take further action.
The need for this effort is made clear by the testimony of Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE.
However, it seems that these bills are still languishing so the work still needs to continue.