Impact Newsletter - April 26, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013
Impact: A weekly look at USAID around the world

Volume Four, Issue Eight

USAID Administrator Shah Testifies on the President's FY14 Budget Request

USAID Administrator Raj Shah testifying on the Hill.
USAID Administrator Raj Shah testifying on the Hill.
AFP/Tim Sloan

Administrator Shah testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) this week. During his testimony, Administrator Shah provided a strong articulation and defense of the President's FY14 Budget Request including global health, the Feed the Future Initiative, food aid reform, and other reform efforts via the USAID Forward agenda. He described how the Agency continues to transform itself into a modern development enterprise, promoting sustainability, encouraging innovation, and focusing on results. He closed his testimony by reiterating the agency's commitment to end extreme poverty and preventable child death in two decades, to usher in an AIDS-free generation, to support transitions in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and improve trade and economic ties around the world. He is scheduled to testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations on May 7, 2013.

USAID Commemorates World Malaria Day

Young girl with malaria bed net.
Young girl with malaria bed net.
Maggie Hallahan

World Malaria Day was April 25, 2013.  Each year, World Malaria Day commemorates the global fight toward zero malaria deaths and mobilizes action to combat the disease. On this occasion, the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released its Seventh Annual Report to Congress [PDF]. PMI also hosted an eleven hour Twitter relay with partners to raise awareness. Visit the World Malaria Day page to learn more about PMI's work against malaria, and read about PMI's successes in Politico and on Read more about Religious Leaders in Mozambique who are "Noisy About Malaria

USAID In the News

This week, the President's Food Aid Reform in his FY2014 Budget Proposal garnered significant attention both media and from members of Congress at Administrator Shah's hearings on Capital Hill.

Delving into the testimony, Politico says "Rajiv Shah - the bright young star at the United States Agency for International Development" - found himself "promoting wholesale changes that threaten old alliances with American farmers and mariners." Shah testified that "Behind all this is President Barack Obama's plan to revamp international food aid to allow more flexible, cash purchases overseas - rather than commodity shipments from the US." In its "Democracy In America" blog, The Economist notes that "USAID's head, Rajiv Shah, is optimistic that the reformers will win this argument, pointing to a fiscal environment in which every dollar must be made to count," however, "this would not be America if congressional turf fights did not loom." In the New York Times piece titled "When Food Isn't the Answer to Hunger", Tina Rosenberg recalls that "in many places, people go hungry because there is no food. But in a lot of places, food is available and the market is working - people are just too poor to buy it. In those places, giving individuals or charitable groups cash to buy food can make food aid cheaper, faster and fairer." Rosenberg adds that "by strengthening and not undercutting local farmers, cash aid also helps countries to avoid hunger later."

The HillBloomberg BusinessWeek, & PBS also picked up Administrator Shah's testimony & Food Aid Reform.

Career Opportunity

Want to work with USAID Asia? We're looking for a Development Outreach and Communications Manager for our regional mission in Bangkok, Thailand. The deadline for applications is May 20. Apply today!