The White House's New Approach to Advancing Development goes beyond giving aid only in times of crisis, becoming proactive rather than reactive. It adopts a multifaceted approach to ending poverty - utilizing diplomacy, revamping trade and investment policies, reforming our foreign aid policies and partnering with governments, NGOs and the private sector.
Oxfam wants us to join in pushing Congress to make sure President Obama's new strategy on foreign aid stands for administrations to come - by emailing your House representative now!
The existing bill in the US House, H.R. 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009, would reform US aid to other countries and make sure key parts of Obama's plan are safe for years to come. That's why more representatives are needed to co-sponsor this reform bill and show the White House, Congress and the world that they're serious about real solutions for global poverty.
So, officially speaking, what is its purpose?
- Official: To direct the President to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting global development, and for other purposes. as introduced.
We need a National Strategy for Global Development which outline the goals of our development programs and the methods to reach those goals. A recent GAO report identified the lack of such a strategy as a major challenge for our global development efforts.
The current law on US foreign aid has been on the books for 50 years. It's grossly out of date and doesn't address the needs of modern poverty. The bill now being considered by the House will reform the way the US handles foreign aid, turning a key element of the Global Development Strategy into law and preventing it from being changed with each new administration.
A more thorough examination of the issue is provided by Farha Tahir in the article Interagency Coordination, Aid Effectiveness, and Corruption: A Roadmap found in the blog Random Musings.
Susan B. Epstein, Specialist in Foreign Policy also provides an in depth look at the issue through her article on Foreign Aid Reform, National Strategy, and the Quadrennial Review at International Humanitarian Policy CRS Reports relating to International Humanitarian Crisis and Emergency Aid Efforts
I recently became convinced to stop focusing on the United Nations as the primary means of implementing the Millennium Development Goals and focus instead closer to home on the policies of the United States. This is one policy that will help to implement the MDGs in a pragmatic and work in the political realities of this world type of way.
We need to make sure that these new policies on global poverty stand the test of time - we need to email Congress today and urge our House representative to co-sponsor this crucial piece of legislation before the end of the year.