Foreian Aid is Essential say Reps Crenshaw and Smith

Republican Ander Crenshaw of Florida’s 4th Congressional District, and Democrat Adam Smith of Washington’s 9th Congressional District make the case for foreign aid in an OpEd for Politico. The co-chairs for the Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance say that foreign aid is essential and cost-effective. They write:

Foreign assistance programs are important for spurring our economy, too. More than half of our exports go to the developing world now and that number is growing. The key to expanding our economy and creating jobs here at home lies beyond our shores, and reaching the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside the U.S. requires investment in these rapidly growing markets.

Careful attention must be paid to how we spend every taxpayer dollar. As the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, our goal is to help ensure the global investments we make bring the best return possible to America.

Significant strides have been made over the past decade to make these programs more effective, and a new “Report on Reports” released by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition details areas of consensus on how we can do even better.

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US Congress Throws Support Behind World Malaria Day

UntitledThe Co-Chairs of the Congressional Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases announced on Tuesday that they were to introduce a  House Resolution highlighting the goals of today’s World Malaria Day. Congressmen Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) shared their support for today for ending malaria.

“Through the comprehensive partnership of many United States program, agencies, and organizations, our nation is playing a key role in bringing health and stability to other nations through the eradication of malaria. Witness the results we’ve helped achieve between 2000 and 2010: a 26 percent decrease in malaria mortality rates around the world; a 33 percent reduction in mortality rates in the African Region of the World Health Organization, and an estimated 1.1 million fewer deaths averted globally due to increased intervention,” said Congressman Crenshaw in a press release.

Crenshaw continued by stressing the importance of partnerships between governments and the private sector.

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Congress' Global Health Agenda for 2013

US Congress

Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President & Chief Liaison Officer, PSI

As we celebrate last week’s inauguration and the 113th Congress’ first few weeks in session, I naturally reflect on the last couple of years. The 112th Congress was full of intense debates, a consuming election and suitably ended with a dramatic, last-minute deal on the fiscal cliff. Thankfully, global health retained strong bipartisan support during even the gravest times of political and economic uncertainty. Looking forward, PSI is encouraged by this new Congress’ potential support of global health programs.

The 113th Congress has an incredible opportunity to expand the global health progress of its predecessors. Each congressional member is in a uniquely powerful position to shape the health, and, ultimately, the future of millions of people globally. With Washington increasingly under attack, the 113th has a chance to show the American people how U.S. foreign assistance saves lives with efficient, transparent and cost-effective solutions.

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Tell Congress #WhyForeignAid

This is a copy of a letter to members of congress signed by PSI and dozens of other NGOs, advocacy groups and others concerned that efforts to reduce the US deficit might negatively affect America’s global leadership role.

Dear Senator/Representative,

As organizations working to end poverty and respond to emergencies around the world, we write to strongly urge you to support the Senate’s fiscal year 2013 overall funding level for the International Affairs Budget in order to protect its poverty-focused accounts throughout all upcoming budget negotiations, including negotiations to avert or delay the sequester.

The budget decisions facing you in the months ahead are daunting, and are of tremendous importance for millions of lives around the world and the future of United States’ security and economic prosperity. There is no doubt that our nation’s fiscal house must be put in order, but it must be done thoughtfully and comprehensively, while ensuring a bright and secure future for the U.S.

This year has witnessed historic events—from the Syrian uprising, to democratic elections in Egypt, to food crises of major proportions in both the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. These events demonstrate in stark terms the dynamic nature of the world around us and the need for strong and effective diplomatic and development tools. The Senate’s funding levels for the International Affairs Budget and its poverty-focused accounts, forged under the bipartisan leadership of Senators Patrick Leahy and Lindsey Graham, recognize current fiscal limitations while enabling continued investments that save lives, increase our national security, and spur economic development both at home and around the world.

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NGO Leaders Advocate for Passage of Water for the World Act

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee made an important decision last week when it sent the Water for the World Act for a vote on the Senate floor. The bipartisan bill cosponsored by Senators Reid (D-NV), Roberts (R-KS), Cardin (D-MD), Isakson (R-GA), and Leahy (D-VT) seeks to further support efforts that will ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation around the world.

The bill, introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), will accomplish the following:

– Target underdeveloped countries with focused initiatives to improve access to clean water and sanitation;
Foster global cooperation on research and technology development, including regional partnerships among experts on clean water;
– Provide technical assistance and capacity-building to develop expertise within countries facing water and sanitation challenges;
– Provide seed money for the deployment of clean water and sanitation technologies;
– Strengthen the human infrastructure at USAID and the State Department to implement clean water and sanitation programs effectively and to ensure that water receives priority attention in our foreign policy efforts; and
– Includes a 25% nonfederal fund cost share provision to leverage philanthropic and other donor support for the programs

“Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is a right that everyone in the world ought to enjoy but too few are able to realize,” Durbin said. “Water access is no longer simply a global health and development issue; it is a long-term threat that is increasingly becoming a national security issue. I hope the Senate can pass this legislation before this problem reaches a devastating tipping point.”

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Malaria Community Calls for Further US R&D Support

As a part of marking World Malaria Day last week, the event “U.S. Advancements in Science and Technology in Malaria:  A Showcase of Domestic Research & Development to Save Lives and Keep Americans Safe” was held in Washington DC.  The co-chairs of the Senate Working Group on Malaria and Congressional Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases served as honorary hosts for the two part event.
The first part consisted of brief presentations on the latest research taking place in the U.S. Many universities were represented, as well as Walter Reed and research institutes. The program rallied around the need for the US to continue investing in malaria research and development to ensure that we remain leaders on and build upon the successes of the past two decades.
Time was also taken by members at the event to pay tribute to the late Rep. Payne, for his tremendous work and leadership on malaria issues.

The Malaria No More blog further summarizes the day’s events:

Dr. Michael Emch, University of North-Carolina-Chapel Hill, related how 40 malaria research jobs were created locally as a result of National Institutes of Health grants.  And others noted how an ambitious goal, such as ending malaria, could result in many other science and technological benefits through innovation and research much like the space race in the last century.

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