The bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance was officially relaunched on September 20th in an event hosted by MFAN on Capitol Hill that featured new caucus co-chairs Reps. Young Kim (R-CA) and Adam Smith (D-WA), and former USAID Administrators Ambassador Mark Green (Ret.), President & CEO of the Wilson Center, and Gayle Smith, CEO of the ONE Campaign. Rep. Kim is the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Indo-Pacific; Rep. Smith is the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.
Since its creation in 2011, the Caucus has served as an important platform for advancing bipartisan consensus on aid effectiveness issues on Capitol Hill and spurring the adoption of several pieces of legislation, including the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (FATAA) in 2016 and the BUILD Act in 2018 (which created the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation).
First launched in the House in 2011 by Congressman Smith and former Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), the Caucus serves as a forum for Members of Congress and their staff to examine the way the United States currently delivers foreign assistance, explore success stories in the delivery of assistance, and identify ways to improve U.S. foreign assistance and development to maximize its impact and benefit. The Caucus focuses on issues related to aid effectiveness and its intersection with economic development, poverty reduction, health, and peace and stability. Through meetings, roundtables, and briefings, the Caucus engages with civil society, private sector stakeholders, and relevant federal agencies to foster dialogue with Members and staff.
Relaunching the Congressional Caucus underscored the importance of making sure that U.S. foreign assistance agencies have well-resourced, modern, and innovative development toolkits to boost their impact and return on investment.
When asked why foreign assistance matters, Ambassador Green highlighted the important role of past successes in shaping lives and building a better, more prosperous world. Similarly, Gayle Smith, explained that foreign assistance is one of the few spaces where there is bipartisan support, signaling that the United States views development as an important priority.
Watch the full event here