Impact Newsletter - November 30, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012
Impact: A weekly look at USAID around the world

Volume Three, Issue Twenty One

Administrator Shah Travels to Turkey to Visit Syrian Refugees

USAID's Raj Shah greets young Syrian children in Turkey. Photo Credit: Adem Altan / AFP
USAID's Raj Shah greets young Syrian children in Turkey.
Adem Altan / AFP

This week, Administrator Rajiv Shah traveled to Turkey where he met with senior officials to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis and assistance for those affected by the crisis in Syria

Administrator Shah's Visit to Turkey
Administrator Shah's Visit to Turkey

While in Turkey, Shah met with senior Turkish officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) along with representatives of the Turkish Red Crescent and the World Food Program. Shah also visited areas along the Turkish border and spoke with individuals who have fled the violence in Syria.  Watch the video to see more of Administrator's Shah's visit. 

Follow Shah on Twitter to learn the latest. Visit our website to read about our efforts.

Historic Presidential Visit to Burma Highlights USAID Mission

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Yangon in Burma.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Yangon in Burma. During his historic visit, Obama announced a joint US-Burma partnership to advance democratic reform.
U.S. Department of State

On Nov. 19, President Barack Obama made a historic visit to Burma, becoming the first-ever sitting U.S. President to travel to the Southeast Asian country. In Rangoon, the President dedicated the opening of USAID's mission in Burma. This marked the first time in the Agency's history that an American president has dedicated a USAID mission. The President was joined at the dedication by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, USAID Assistant Administrator for the Asia Bureau Nisha Biswal, USAID/Burma Mission Director Christopher Milligan, and USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Asia Bureau Greg Beck. In a landmark speech later that day at Yangon University, he stated, "Today, I was proud to reestablish our USAID mission in this country, which is our lead development agency. And the United States wants to be a partner in helping this country, which used to be the rice bowl of Asia, to reestablish its capacity to feed its people and to care for its sick, and educate its children, and build its democratic institutions as [Burma] continue[s] down the path of reform."

While in Burma, the President announced the U.S.-Burma Partnership for Democracy, Peace, and Prosperity [pdf] and pledged $170 million over two years to strengthen democracy, human rights and rule of law; promote transparent governance; advance peace and reconciliation; meet humanitarian needs; and provide economic development that can improve the health and livelihoods of the people of Burma. As part of this effort, the two countries will develop a joint action plan prioritizing steps each party will take to support the reform process, helping to ensure that assistance is met with commensurate concrete action. In addition to the overarching partnership, the Government of Burma has indicated its commitment to also join the Open Government Partnership [PDF], a global effort to make governments more transparent, effective and accountable, and announced a Joint Plan on Trafficking in Persons [PDF].

Among the initiatives to support Burma's progress toward democracy include the Higher Education Partnerships, which seek to build upon our ongoing engagement with the university community and the private sector. Those interested in this funding opportunity can visit for full application details.

Visit our website for more information on our programs in Burma. To receive updates on our development assistance in Burma, please join our Burma listserv.  

2012 World AIDS Day for "AIDS-Free Generation" 

A happy family does laundry outside their home in Tanzania. Photo Credit: EGPAF/James Pursey
A happy family does laundry outside their home in Tanzania.
EGPAF/James Pursey

Tomorrow is 2012 World AIDS Day. Earlier this week, USAID's Bureau for Global Health hosted a Twitter expert hour session with Roxana Rogers, director of the HIV/AIDS office. 

Throughout the week, IMPACTblog highlighted our work on  voluntary medical male circumcision, combination prevention, counseling and testing, and implementation science.  Actress and HIV Activist Debra Messing (who cut the ribbon at a recent launch of a HIV clinic in Zambia) and Assistant Administrator for Global Health Ariel Pablos Mendez also blogged about the importance of working together and sharing responsibility as we strive to reach an AIDS-free generation.

D.C. Details: Upcoming Events       

Next week, USAID is hosting two exciting events. Join us at USAID headquarters for two important launches: 

Agency to Release Resilience Policy   

On Monday, Dec. 3, USAID will release its new  Policy and Program Guidance on Building Resilience to Recurrent Crisis, in response to the fact that chronic poverty and recurring shocks are driving the same communities into crisis year after year and undermining development gains.

To respond to the 13 million people plunged into crisis after the 2011 drought in East Africa , declared as the worst in 60 years, USAID is doing business differently to help vulnerable communities move from cycles of crisis to a pathway toward development.

If you are in Washington, D.C., join USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah along with critical leadership from the interagency and partner organizations embracing the resilience agenda in the field, including Congress, Bread for the World, Mercy Corps, and Catholic Relief Services. 

Learn more about USAID's work on resilience.

Monday, December 3, 2012
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Ronald Reagan Building, Amphitheater  
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20523
Please arrive no later than 1:30 pm to clear security.

Launch of Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development

On Dec. 5, Making All Voices Count (MAVC) will launch as a Grand Challenge for Development at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. The Grand Challenge will support innovative solutions and harness new technologies to help grow the global movement for open government, transparency and accountability. 

The historic partnership is between USAID, DFID, Sweden and Omidyar Network. The goal of the Grand Challenge  is to help amplify the voices of citizens and enable governments in new and emerging democracies to listen and respond to the people governed by them.  

Monday, December 5, 2012
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Ronald Reagan Building, Pavillion 
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20523
Please arrive no later than 8:30 am to clear security.

USAID in the News     

In case you missed USAID in the news this week, here's a glimpse: Devex interviewed Chief Innovation Officer Maura O'Neill  at the BSR annual conference. She discussed how USAID is helping private sector and public sector organizations partner to build effective development projects. published an article about the Agency's work to build on its development science efforts during President Obama's second term. Voice of America featured an interview with Carla Koppell ,Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. The story focused on the importance of supporting women and addressing gender-based violence against Afghan women.

Have you Seen our Blog?

Check out the Impact Blog to stay updated on the latest information about USAID programs in Washington and around the world. Read stories from the field, hear from development experts, and view weekly photos and videos of development in action. You can also join the conversation on social media!