Impact Newsletter - March 1, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013
Impact: A weekly look at USAID around the world

Volume Four, Issue Four

U.S. Government Historic Visit to Somalia

The President of Somalia and Administrator Raj Shah during his visit.
The President of Somalia and Administrator Raj Shah during his visit.

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah visited Somalia Feb. 21 as a part of a multi-country trip that also included stops in Kenya and Tanzania. His visit to Somalia marks the first trip by a senior U.S. Government official in 20 years.

While in Mogadishu, Shah met with Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and Foreign Minister Fowsiyo Yussuf Haji Aadan.

Shah told the Associated Press,"America is prepared and committed to stand with the people of Somalia and their new, now-recognized and legitimate government as it tries to build both peace and prosperity." Shah pledged $20 million in humanitarian assistance. Watch Administrator Shah on MSNBC's Mitchell Reports.

Administrator Shah Travels to India and Burma

The clinic provides free primary healthcare services on the Thai-Burma border and mobile clinics serving more than 17,000 Intern
The clinic provides free primary healthcare services on the Thai-Burma border and mobile clinics serving more than 17,000 Internally Displaced Persons in Burma.
Peter Biro / The IRC

Administrator Shah will visit Mumbai, India, from March 5-6 to announce significant new programs and partnerships that will reduce preventable child deaths. While in Mumbai, the Administrator will meet with senior government officials, members of India's private sector and representatives from civil society, and deliver keynote remarks at the Indian Philanthropy Forum and the Asia Society.

Administrator Shah will make his first ever visit to Burma from March 7-8. where he will further advance the U.S.-Burma Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity, building upon President Obama's recent visit to the country. Administrator Shah's visit will highlight the progress USAID has made in moving forward our partnership with Burma, as well as with the American private sector, universities, and non-governmental organizations to provide humanitarian, democracy, human rights, governance, and economic development assistance to Burma.

For updates on Administrator Shah's trip, follow  USAID Burma on Twitter. Learn more about our work in Burma and India.  

USAID Wins Mobile Development Award

USAID received the Best Government Policy for Mobile Development award for its work to expand the use of mobile technology by women in developing countries. The recognition came earlier this week at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This annual event is the mobile industry's largest trade association that attracts over 70,000 participants.  

During the same event, USAID, along with partners Qtel Group and AusAID, announced the winners of the  GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, which aims to redefine the smartphone user experience for resource-poor women in emerging markets. The challenge was launched at the Social Good Summit during the 2012 United Nations General Assembly.

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Joseph Lago / AFP

Qtel Group CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih presented the Grand Prize of $20,000 USD to Jeremy Canfield, Sarah Fathallah and Angel Kittiyachavalit for their design, 'Sahel Shake'. Second place, with a prize of $10,000 USD, was awarded to Aloke Pillai of the York Sheridan Design Program for 'mpower'. The Emerging Talent Prize of $10,000 USD, which is reserved for an entry from emerging markets to ensure entrepreneurs are able to compete alongside professional design firms, was awarded to Raphael Mutiso, from Kenya for his entry 'Simplified Grayscale Power Efficient Interface.'  Click herefor a description of the winning programs and finalists. Check out our Storify feed for a recap of the week.

Read more on the Impact Blog

International Women's Day: Call for Your Photos

Women learn about their family planning options in Bangladesh
Women learn about their family planning options in Bangladesh.
JSI (USAID/Deliver)

To commemorate International Women's Day, USAID's Global Health Bureau is calling for photos to showcase women champions around the world who have benefited from or who work on USAID-funded health projects.

The bureau is seeking photographs highlighting women working to make a difference in the lives of other women, families, and communities. Select photos will be featured on the USAID website, used in an e-card sent to our external distribution list, and highlighted on the Global Health Bureau's Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

All photographers will receive credit for themselves and their organization. Please submit high-res photographs with caption and credit to by close of business March 5. Captions should be descriptive and no longer than 200 words. Please include any relevant links to your project or success stories that we can feature. By submitting a photograph, you are giving USAID the right to use it in current and future communications.

DC Details:  

On the Hill 

Yesterday, Mark Feierstein, USAID's Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on President Barack Obama's second term development priorities for the region. View his remarks here

On March 7 from 11 a.m. to noon EST, Feierstein will take questions on Twitter about our work with Latin America and the Caribbean. Don't forget to tweet @MarkFeierstein your questions using the hashtag #AskUSAID.

Public ACVFA Meeting Announced: March 14, 2013

On March 14, USAID will hold a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA). Chaired by Jack Leslie (Chairman, Weber Shandwick), ACVFA is made up of 25 private citizens who represent the diverse views of USAID's key stakeholders - private and voluntary organizations, cooperatives, foundations, private firms, professional societies, and universities. ACVFA was established by President Truman in 1946, and its basic mandate remains one of providing substantive advice, analysis, and recommendations to the USAID Administrator on key development issues and challenges. The public meetings serve as one of several ways in which USAID and the Committee interact with the public and share information about the collective work we are doing in global development. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 2pm EST in the Ronald Reagan Building. Please register here to attend.

USAID In the News  

Can't get enough of USAID? The Press Trust of India reports on USAID's announcement that Administrator Rajiv Shah, the "highest ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration," will travel to India and Myanmar in March. Shah is expected to "announce a major program to reduce preventable child deaths" in Mumbai.TheChristian Science Monitor reports on the U.S. policy of not branding aid parcels aims to ensure they reach Syrians. USAID's Nancy Lindborg said, "We are not putting flags on the aid so that it's perhaps not as visible as it is in other situations. Our priority is to ensure that it reaches people and that it doesn't create additional insecurity." The Wall Street Journal quoted Shah, saying "India is the most important country in the world when it comes to saving children's lives and if they can achieve success and we can support it, the world will be well on its way to achieving an extraordinary and historic result of ensuring that every single child around the world lives to see their fifth birthday." The Times Of Central Asia reports that USAID has joined the fight against TB in Kyrgyzstan. USAID representative Carey Gordon stated, "Over the past decades, tuberculosis remains one of the relevant issues for Kyrgyzstan's healthcare for many reasons, including socio-economic issues, and because of poorly established TB detection and treatment in the country." In Jordan, the Women and Children's Hospital in Mafraq is now double its size a year ago after a USAID renovation. It serves both Jordanians and Syrian refugees, and the hospital is one of 14 USAID renovated in the past three years throughout the country according to Zawya.

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