Impact Newsletter - June 24, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013
Impact: A weekly look at USAID around the world

Volume Four, Issue Twelve

$300 Million in Additional Assistance for Syria

A Syrian refugee walks with a water container in Kilis, Turkey at the border with Syria.
A Syrian refugee walks with a water container in Kilis, Turkey at the border with Syria.
AFP/Adem Altan

On June 17, President Barack Obama announced an additional $300 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to help feed, shelter and provide medical care for children, women and men affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria. The United States remains the single largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people, and this new contribution brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Syria crisis to nearly $815 million.

This $300 million in additional humanitarian aid will increase food aid, medical care and clean water, and provide shelter and other relief supplies to families suffering in Syria and neighboring countries. In addition, the United States is increasing support for activities to protect especially vulnerable populations-including women, children and the elderly-and improving sanitation and hygiene to help prevent the spread of water-borne illness.

For email updates on USAID's humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria, sign up for the Assistance to Syrians mailing list.

New Partnership to Improve Connectivity in Latin America

Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean Mark Lopes and officials from NewCom.
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean Mark Lopes and officials from NewCom.

On Tuesday, USAID announced a partnership to increase access to broadband services via satellite to advance development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Based on a successful collaboration in Colombia, USAID and NewCom signed a Memorandum of Understanding to leverage the latest telecommunications technologies to improve local economies, ensure public safety, access quality education and healthcare, and advance businesses.

"Access to the Internet and electricity are foundational for many elements of development," said Mark Lopes, USAID deputy assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean. "This partnership with NewCom goes directly to that by connecting remote communities in the Americas to the rest of the world, training at-risk youth in new fields, and introducing farmers to new markets."

In Colombia, USAID partnered with NewCom, the Colombian Ministry of Education and local companies to improve access to technology to extremely remote and conflict-prone communities. The project provided electricity and Internet to 12 community centers and 26 schools, benefitting more than 4,200 students. It also provided communities with an online connection to their local government, educational resources for children, improved cell phone service, refrigeration and economic benefits from reliable Internet connections.

Learn more about the strategic collaboration with Newcom.

Administrator Shah Travels to India with Secretary Kerry

Administrator Rajiv Shah and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Administrator Rajiv Shah and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Pat Adams, USAID

On June 23, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah traveled to New Delhi, India, as part of Secretary of State John Kerry's delegation for the fourth annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue on June 23-25. Administrator Shah participated in discussions on clean energy and climate change, education and women's empowerment.

He also met with public and private sector leaders and young innovators at an event highlighting U.S.-India partnership on affordable innovation. He announced the nine winners of the first round of awards for the Millennium Alliance. The Millennium Alliance is a partnership between USAID, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and India's Department of Science and Technology, to support innovations that can deliver transformational development solutions.

Working to Spur Economic Growth in Haiti

Haitian President Michel Martelly and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pam White and other Haitian government officials at the launch.
Haitian President Michel Martelly and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Pam White and other Haitian government officials at the launch.
Government of Haiti

This week, USAID launched an innovative project to spur economic growth in promising agricultural areas in the north while at the same time developing local firms to be direct USAID partners. The Feed the Future North (FTFN) project is supported by USAID under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative. FTFN, a five-year, $88 million project, was developed in cooperation with the Government of Haiti Ministry of Agriculture. It aims to increase agricultural incomes for at least 40,000 rural households in northern Haiti, expand financial services to local agribusinesses, stabilize watersheds that support farmland, and improve roads in some of the most fertile but inaccessible farming areas. A key project component aims to increase the number of local Haitian firms who participate as direct contracting partners.

See photos from the launch. 

Comment on our draft BioDiversity Policy

Indonesian family in farm feild
Young families in Indonesia benefit from USAID programs.

Did you know that biodiversity plays a critical role in human well-being? Or that the top 25 percent of conservation priority areas could provide over half of global poverty benefits from ecosystem services? Goods and services derived from the conservation of biodiversity can provide nations and their citizens with basic necessities like food, pollination, clean water, fertile soils and fuel. USAID is working to advance biodiversity conservation as an essential component of human development. Use your voice and expertise to help USAID advance biodiversity conservation by providing comments to a recently released draft policy on biodiversity. The comment period closes June 28, so give us your thoughts now! 

View the biodiversity policy.

Career Openings at USAID

Want To Work for USAID? Check out our current vacancy announcements!

Budget Analyst, GS-0560-14 - AID-13-0188-DC
Bureau for Europe and Eurasia
Closes Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Civil Service

Medical Officer, ST-0602
Monday, June 24, 2013
Scientific/Technical (ST)

Contract Specialist, GS-1102-9/11/12/13 - DHA-13-0153-ASH
Bureau for Management
Closes Monday, September 30, 2013
Civil Service

IT Specialist (InfoSec) - DHA-13-0076-LW
Bureau for Management
Closes Saturday, February 15, 2014
Civil Service

USAID In the News

Betsy Engebretson published a piece on Georgetown's  Public Policy Review blog about the new USAID Water and Development Strategy [PDF] and how it can strengthen global water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts.

The Huffington Post published a blog on Father's Day with Administrator Shah and Tony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Child Survival Call to Action.

Ronald Brownstein published an article in the National Journal about USAID's new orientation that is making a bigger difference with less money. Administrator Raj Shah is quoted saying "We have tried to put in place a new model as so many more actors have gotten involved.  There's a new constellation of engagement on these issues that make possible great outcomes."

USAID/Montenegro premiered a video documentary series during the mission's closeout event on June 12. The event brought together 250 partners and government officials plus the U.S. Ambassador to celebrate the conclusion of 12 years of USAID assistance in governance, economic growth and support for people with disabilities.

Upcoming Events:

Join us for a Twitter Chat on #USAIDAfrica. Jeff Borns, Mission Director, will answer your ?s on trade and economic growth

On June 27, at 8 a.m. ET, we will host a #AskUSAID Twitter Chat with South Africa Mission Director Jeff Borns on trade and development in the country. Tweet your questions using #AskUSAID. Follow @USAID & @USAID_SAfrica .  

Also on June 27th, the White House will host a "We The Geeks" Google+ Hangout with some of the innovative minds answering the President's call to end extreme poverty in our time, moderated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)'s Tom Kalil. Speakers include Development Innovation Venture grantees and Chief Innovation Officer Maura O'Neill

  • Nikhil Jaisinghani, Founder,Mera Gao Power (MGP);
  • Amy Klement,  Partner, Omidyar Network
  • Maura O'Neill, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Counselor, U.S. Agency for International Development; and
  • Alix Zwane, Executive Director, Innovation for Poverty Action/Evidence Action

Watch the latest "We the Geeks" Hangout live on and on theWhite House Google+ page onThursday, June 27 at 1pm EST. Got questions and comments? Use the hashtag #WeTheGeeks on Twitter and on Google+ and we'll answer some during the live Hangout.