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Archive for the ‘MFAN Statement’ Category

MFAN Applauds Passage of Foreign Aid Transparency Bill by House Foreign Affairs Committee

Thursday, November 5th, 2015
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November 5, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Carolyn Miles, and Connie Veillette

Today the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 3766), recently introduced by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA). MFAN thanks Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) for swiftly taking up this legislation for consideration, and the bill sponsors for their continued leadership on efforts to make foreign assistance more transparent and accountable.

MFAN strongly supports this bipartisan legislation, which would codify important reforms to ensure that U.S. agencies involved in foreign assistance are focused on rigorous and consistent monitoring and evaluation of programs and on making comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid data publicly available. By reinforcing its existing commitments to transparency and evaluation through legislation, the U.S. government can better track, measure, and allocate scarce aid resources.

We hope to see swift passage of this important legislation by the full House of Representatives. We also urge the Senate to take similar action on the companion bill (S. 2184), introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Statement: MFAN Applauds Introduction of the Bipartisan Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
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October 20, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Carolyn Miles, and Connie Veillette

MFAN welcomes the introduction of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). This bipartisan legislation would codify important reforms to ensure that U.S. agencies involved in foreign assistance are focused on rigorous and consistent monitoring and evaluation of programs and on making comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid data publicly available. By strengthening its commitment to monitoring and evaluation and transparency, the U.S. government can better allocate aid resources and be held accountable by a range of stakeholders.

Earlier versions of this legislation have been unanimously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 113th Congress and by the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. We commend Representatives Poe and Connolly and Senators Rubio and Cardin for their continued leadership to enact this important legislation.

MFAN strongly supports this legislation. It is vital to guaranteeing that U.S. foreign assistance becomes as transparent as possible and programs are thoroughly evaluated. Enacting this bill will help pave the way for the U.S. Government to further embed aid effectiveness principles in its development policy and practice in order to get the most out of every dollar we spend. The positive actions we have seen this Administration take to improve the accountability of U.S. foreign assistance, such as creating ForeignAssistance.gov as a public venue for aid data, and the USAID and State Department evaluation policies, will be strengthened by this legislation.

We look forward to working with Congress to make this legislation even stronger by requiring that aid effectiveness approaches be rigorously applied to all foreign assistance, including security assistance, and reinforcing existing U.S. government commitments to transparency and evaluation, such as meeting its obligation on the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

Statement: MFAN Applauds President Obama’s Commitment to New Global Development Agenda

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
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MFAN Applauds President Obama’s Commitment to New Global Development Agenda

September 28, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Carolyn Miles, and Connie Veillette

In the first of two addresses to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama announced the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a sweeping global development agenda to end extreme poverty and hunger. MFAN is encouraged by President Obama’s strong commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and his recognition of how integral development aid has been and will continue to be to promote democratic governance and strong institutions, decrease hunger and deaths by preventable disease, increase the number of boys and girls in schools, and lift people out of extreme poverty.

The adoption of this ambitious global agenda is a reminder of how critical accountable, locally-led development is to combatting poverty and suffering and reducing inequality around the world. MFAN is pleased to see that the President specifically mentioned the importance of using our development resources more effectively, learning from our successes and failures, and helping build the capacity of recipient countries to “do more with what they receive.”

The President’s speech endorsing the 2030 Agenda comes on the heels of the release of USAID’s Vision for Ending Extreme Poverty, the agency’s plan to accelerate progress to end extreme poverty by 2030. MFAN applauds USAID for the release of the vision document, which tackles not only why ending extreme poverty is an important development objective, but also begins to looks more tactically at how to do it. It is particularly encouraging to see the document make specific reference to the link between accountability and country ownership and how the two together “help create a world in which developing country stakeholders have the tools to make smart decisions about their own development priorities and power to implement those decisions.”

Five years after President Obama pledged to the United Nations that the United States would remain the global leader in development, MFAN is encouraged that the President and his Administration are reaffirming this commitment by backing the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Now that these commitments have been made, we look forward to working with the Administration as they begin to tackle the implementation of the global goals and measure its progress. As President Obama said in his remarks on Sunday, “supporting development is not charity, but is instead one of the smartest investments we can make in our own future.”

 

MFAN Launches “ACCOUNTdown to 2017” Tracking Progress to Strengthen U.S. Foreign Aid

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
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July 28, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Carolyn Miles, and Connie Veillette

Today the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network is launching a new campaign, ACCOUNTdown to 2017, to track progress made toward strengthening the accountability and country ownership of U.S. foreign assistance. With ACCOUNTdown, we take stock of where Congress and the Administration are in meeting their reform commitments and the goals we laid out last year in MFAN’s The Way Forward and outline further steps that should be taken over the next 18 months to advance progress.

Bipartisan leadership over the past two decades has elevated and enhanced the ability of U.S. foreign assistance to confront threats, reduce poverty, and advance our interests. As the United States continues to face significant challenges around the world, effective foreign assistance remains as imperative as ever. Robust development policy and practice help support empowered citizens to hold their governments accountable and build local capacity to achieve sustainable results.

Over the next 18 months, we will push for and assess progress, and publicly report our findings. We urge Congress and the Administration to work together to institutionalize existing reform commitments around two critical pillars of development – accountability and country ownership.

Broad Coalition Calls on U.S. Senate to Confirm Gayle Smith as USAID Administrator

Monday, June 15th, 2015
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Broad Coalition Calls on U.S. Senate to Confirm Gayle Smith as USAID Administrator

June 15, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Carolyn Miles, and Connie Veillette:

MFAN, along with a broad coalition of international development organizations, policy experts, and the private sector, is calling on the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Gayle Smith as the next permanent USAID Administrator. Having a Senate-confirmed appointee at the helm of USAID is essential to advancing U.S. development goals and optimizing the use of U.S. foreign assistance resources. As we cautioned in our open letter to the President in April, when the Administrator position was vacant in 2009 for nearly a full year, USAID and its programs suffered.

Gayle Smith is a strong and experienced leader and is well-equipped to further implement and institutionalize important reforms at the U.S. government’s lead development agency. Smith has long been a champion of the aid effectiveness agenda while ensuring development has a strong voice at the policymaking table. In her time as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy, Smith has helped to foster a more robust interagency dialogue and coordination around U.S. development efforts.

At a time when we are responding to global crises in places like Nepal, Syria, and Yemen, and with the Millennium Development Goals expiring and a new set of goals taking their place, the United States cannot afford to be without a strong, permanent USAID Administrator to lead our engagement and represent our development interests internationally.  We are pleased to see that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for this week and urge a swift confirmation process in order to sustain strong U.S. leadership on development programs and the accountability of our foreign assistance.