Currently in Beijing, Administrator Shah is taking part in development-specific talks led by Secretary Clinton at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
Later this week, Administrator Shah will be in Dhaka to participate in the Food Security Investment Forum hosted by the Government of Bangladesh. This forum is a country-specific element of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
I’m in Beijing to take part in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue along with other Obama Administration leaders.
First stop: China Agricultural University where the Agriculture Cadres Training College is preparing the next generation of development professionals.
This is the only university In China to have a discipline in development; it offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field. The visit here was very exciting — there were great questions about Africa and partnerships — and the students were extremely engaging.
Regional forestry officials met to discuss a common vision to reduce deforestation as part of an activity funded by USAID.
At a U.S.-funded workshop on May 6, representatives from government agencies and non-governmental organizations in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam convened to forge a strategy for preserving the forests of the Lower Mekong. These forests are home to more than 25 million people in Vietnam alone, and are threatened by deforestation and degradation.
Participants at the workshop, which was funded in part by the USAID Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program, discussed current efforts to develop national programs to reduce emissions from deforestation. At the Copenhagen negotiations in December 2009, the United States Government committed $1 billion to support forest conservation efforts.
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USAID Administrator co-chairs discussions with Afghan Ministers
This week President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and members of his cabinet are participating in U.S. – Afghanistan Bilateral Discussions in Washington, DC. These discussions are another step in the advancement of a very broad strategic partnership between our two countries. (Our guests have a full agenda this week including a meeting with President Obama, a full day at the State Department and meetings on Capitol Hill, with Think Tanks and the media.)
As part of this effort, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah co-chaired two discussions with Afghan Ministers – the first, on human resource development where the focus was on health and education, and, secondly, a roundtable discussion with
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U.S. Embassy Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne and Acting Minister of Public Health Dr. Suraya Dalil joined Hirat Governor Yusuf Nuristani and regional Afghan health officials and members of the international donor community at a graduation ceremony for 40 midwives yesterday from the Hirat Institute of Health Sciences.
Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. About every 30 minutes a mother dies giving birth in Afghanistan, and 77 percent of these deaths are due to factors that could be avoided with proper health care. The neonatal mortality rate is also high in Afghanistan, with 60 newborns out of every 1,000 dying in the first month of life. “The Ministry of Public Health will be working to ensure that public health services are available to all Afghans, and maternal child care is one of our biggest concerns,” said Acting Minister of Public Health (MoPH) Dr. Suraya Dalil.
A group of 22 Kabul Education University (KEU) students walked across the university’s stage today in front of a packed auditorium at the university campus to become the first KEU students to receive an Afghan Master’s in Education diploma.
The ceremony marked the beginning of a successful U.S. Government-funded post-graduate program at the university, which will enable KEU students to earn a Master’s in Education Degree from KEU without leaving Afghanistan.