Weekly Briefing (3/14/2011–3/18/2011)

March 14 In a letter to the editor of The Washington Post, Deputy USAID Administrator Donald Steinberg wrote that USAID remains committed to empowering women in Afghanistan. “USAID is providing more support than at any time in our agency’s history to address the illiteracy, poor health, extreme poverty and political exclusion.”

March 14 The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post reports that foreign aid has arrived in Japan after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit the country early Friday morning. The outlets report that rescue teams USAID sent from Los Angeles County and Fairfax County, Virginia have arrived in Japan to launch a massive search and rescue operation.

March 17 Multiple news publications, including AP, the Washington Times, and Voice of America reported on Administrator Shah’s appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee to talk about budget requests for the following fiscal year. Administrator Shah said that proposed cuts to his agency’s budget would have “an absolutely devastating” impact on its humanitarian assistance programs and that foreign assistance is the key to national security.