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US President Trump to nominate State Department spokesperson as UN Ambassador

US President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Heather Nauert as the next UN Ambassador. Nauert, who currently holds the position of spokesperson at the US State Department, would replace Nikki Haley, who announced her departure in October. Nauert, a former Fox News anchor and correspondent, joined the State Department one year ago without any previous government experience.  Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the US Senate. 

News article - The Washington Post

United States

USAID Administrator expands on Trump administration's foreign-assistance approach

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mark Green, sought to articulate the Trump administration's vision for development assistance during remarks before a large audience of development stakeholders. He contrasted the US approach as an alternative to the Chinese model of development, which he referred to as the "authoritarian approach". 

In his remarks at a tribute dinner in which he was honored, Green said, “[o]ne approach, the authoritarian approach, is really predatory lending dressed up as assistance. It lures borrowers with promises of easy money but then straddles them with unsustainable levels of debt. Our approach — the American approach — on the other hand, moves countries from being recipients, to partners, to fellow donors. It’s based upon the notion of a hand up, not a handout, and it helps position countries to grasp their own future.”  

Green also touted the role of transparency in the US approach, pointing to US rankings in the Aid Transparency Index, which ranked 45 major donors in 2018.  The Millennium Challenge Corporation ranked 5th, USAID ranked 16th, and China came in "dead last", Green said.

News article - Devex

United States

US President Trump to sign extension of PEPFAR

Following approval by the US Senate to extend the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on November 28, 2018, the White House indicated that President Donald Trump would soon sign the legislation into law.  Vice President Mike Pence made that announcement at a While House event to celebrate World AIDS Day. 

The bill, which reauthorizes PEPFAR for another five years, had been approved by the House in mid-November.  

News article - Associated Press

United States Global health

USAID to fund private and religious schools under new education party

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green has stated that the agency is planning to expand its funding to the private sector and religious groups for purposes of implementing the new US education policy in the developing world. This approach recognizes the “important role of non-state actors, including faith-based organizations and the private sector, in providing educational opportunities” to children affected combat, natural, and other disasters. Green specifically referenced countries such as Bangladesh, Somalia, and Myanmar, where the government is not providing education to significant chunks of the child population.  

News article - The Washington Times

United States Education

USAID announces creation of bureau for resilience and food security

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that it will create a new Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. Greg Collins, USAID’s resilience coordinator, told the Resilience Measurement, Evidence and Learning Conference in New Orleans that the "extraordinary cost of going back to the same places every three to five years with the humanitarian convoys is simply unsustainable." The new bureau seeks to create resilience - the ability of countries to withstand broad environmental or economic shocks - by serving as a source of longer-term finance.

The new office will require Congressional approval. If approved, it will have about 180 staff.  

News article - Reuters

United States

US House of Representatives reauthorizes PEPFAR

The US House of Representative approved an extension of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by voice vote on November 14, 2018.  The bill, H.R. 6651, will extend PEPFAR, the US' flagship health program, for another five years. PEPFAR  Approval by the US Senate is still needed before the extension becomes law.  

News article - Advocate

United States Global health

USGLC releases analysis of new Congress and impact on global development and foreign affairs

The United State Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) released a post-election analysis of what the new US Congress will mean for global development and diplomacy. Based on interviews with over 300 candidates and an analysis campaigns for both US Senate and House seats, USGLC contends that the new Congress will "once again reject isolationism".  The analysis also provided a look at how key congressional committees will change as a result of a number of retirements and the shift in power from Republicans to Democrats in the US House.

Report - USGLC

United States

Former Republican development professionals voice concern over President Trump's foreign assistance review

In a recent Devex op-ed, three former high-ranking Republican appointees associated with development have raised concerns over the Trump Administration's current review of foreign assistance, which is now in the hands of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mark Dybul, Rob Mosbacher, and John Danilovich all of served under President George W. Bush and are supportive of the review initiative - however, they called for more transparency and engagement with both Congress and the development community. They also raised concerns about the argument that grant-based assistance might be less effective than other forms of assistance, and that the 'reward' vs. 'punishment"' approach favored by some in the Administration misunderstands the nature of US assistance.

Op-ed - Devex

United States

US lawmakers and development community criticize proposed cuts to Central America funding

Members of Congress and the US development community have reacted negatively to threats by President Trump to cut aid to Central America because of the caravan of migrants currently coming through Central America and Mexico. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, for example, emphasized the national security aspect of development assistance to Central America.  Development groups, including the United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and CARE, both issued statements opposing the cuts, arguing that they will undermine work being done in the region to foster stability and fight poverty.

Statement - USGLC

Statement - CARE

United States

USAID reorganization proposal officially sent to Congress for approval

Plans to reorganize the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been formally sent to Congress, after receiving approval from the White House's Office of Management and Budget. USAID, which has been working on the reorganization for over a year, will consolidate a number of offices and functions within USAID.  It will merge budget, management, and policy functions. It also realigns USAID's humanitarian, crisis, and conflict work under one new associate administrator, and will merge development, democracy, and innovation into one bureau.  

InterAction also released its own analysis of the proposed transformation, highlighting the importance of reinforcing the strategy-budget alignment.

News article - Devex

Analysis - InterAction

United States