Weekly Briefing (2/27/2012 – 3/2/2012)
February 27: Over the weekend, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah visited the campus of Bethel University, in Arden Hills, Minnesota. Administrator Shah praised Bethel for their commitment to international engagement and discussed USAID’s work in the areas of global health and food security. While in Minnesota, Administrator Shah also visited General Mills headquarters and recognized employee volunteers for their global citizenship.
February 27: Bloomberg highlighted the release of the “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index,” the first ever report to measure the impact women play in food growth in developing countries. USAID was a key partner in the development of the report and the index will be applied to all programs in President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative.
February 29: The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed written by Senator John Kerry, discussing his support for foreign aid and the work being performed by USAID and the State Department. Citing former President Ronald Reagan, Kerry writes that Reagan “knew that diplomacy and development policy neutralize threats before they become crises; manage crises if threats escalate; and assure security and stability after conflicts are resolved, all at a fraction of the cost of military deployment.”
Weekly Briefing (1/30/2012 – 2/3/2012)
January 25: ClimateWire (registration required) published a story highlighting USAID’s efforts to assist Fiji design climate change plans. John Wilson, director of the office of technical services for USAID’s Middle East bureaus, said the team is working on ways to address water and food security as well as other needs brought about by rising global temperatures.
January 27: In another article, ClimateWire (registration required) also reports that USAID recently released its 5-year, Climate Change and Development Strategy (pdf). The plan calls on the Agency to reduce emissions while at the same time protecting communities from weather disasters. “Consideration of climate change in strategic planning, program design, and project implementation across a wide range of development sectors is essential to the success of USAID’s mission,” wrote USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah.
Weekly Briefing (1/23/2012 – 1/27/2012)
January 25: The Guardian wrote an article highlighting faith based organizations role in providing relief in the Horn of Africa. Zeenat Rahman, Acting Director of USAID’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, stated that, “When Christian, Muslim and Jewish NGOs work together on an issue like feeding the hungry, their collective quest toward a common good can cut across their traditions when they meet others of differing theologies who are doing the same thing.”
January 26: The Financial Times (registration required) published a story previewing the upcoming launch of USAID’s Youth in Development policy, which will focus on engaging young adults in developing countries. While USAID has long provided assistance in youth programs, this new policy will specifically concentrate on utilizing technology to connect and empower people to become leaders in shaping their communities and economies.
Weekly Briefing (1/16/2012 – 1/20/2012)
January 17: The GlobalPost highlighted India’s progress in its fight to end polio and noted that the country recently marked one year since its last confirmed case of polio. The news outlet interviewed Ellyn Ogden, USAID’s worldwide polio eradication coordinator. In the published interview, Ogden discusses India’s achievement and the global outlook to end polio.
January 18: On Wednesday, at the University of Delaware-Wilmington, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah joined Senator Chris Coons at an “Opportunity: Africa” Conference. Local media outlets, including The News Journal, the Newark Post, and WDEL-AM covered the event. At the conference, Administrator Shah and Senator Coons highlighted how American businesses, including Delaware-based companies, are developing innovative ways to grow Africa’s economy and open trade markets for U.S. goods.
Weekly Briefing (12/12/2011 – 12/16/2011)
December 9: Last Friday, the Global Post highlighted USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah’s visit to Harvard University. On December 12th, The Guardian’s Global Health Blog also published a post about his trip to Cambridge. Speaking at a dinner, hosted by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Dr. Shah recalled his visit to refugee camps in Kenya and the struggle families are currently facing in the Horn of Africa. Shah also encouraged journalists to actively cover the crisis and famine.
December 14: The Guardian reports that during the International Engagement conference for South Sudan, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah stated that theconference is an opportunity for the government of South Sudan to lay out its vision for the future of its economy. Shah also stated that the event will “help private companies and investors see the Republic of Southern Sudan as a place where they want to increase their investments, thereby enabling significant economic development and economic growth”. Bloomberg News also reported on the conference, citing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s strong support for the new nation and the promising economic opportunities in farming and oil sectors. Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Times also covered the conference.
December 15: ABC News’ “Million Moms Challenge” blog highlighted an innovative approach USAID is using to help pregnant women and new mothers in Bangladesh. By utilizing a new cell phone program, women are receiving text or calls with potentially life-saving alerts regarding their upcoming due date. After they give birth, themothers continue to receive messages with information regarding healthy nutrition and how to care for their newborn. The USAID initiative is called Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA).
Weekly Briefing (11/28/2011 – 12/2/2011)
November 29th: The Taipei Times and The China Post reports that USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will visit Taipei, Taiwan on December 1st and 2nd. Shah is visiting Taiwan at the invitation of the American Institute in Taiwan, as part of his trip through Asia to celebrate the USAID-Taiwan relationship, as well as the country’s transformation into a democratic society.
November 30th: An op-ed written by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah was published on CNN’s Global Public Square blog. In the piece, Shah discusses the current aid effectiveness forum taking place in Busan; and South Korea’s transformation from aid recipient to aid donor. He also describes the importance of delivering transparent foreign aid and how the U.S. is making important strides in ensuring development assistance is made in an efficient and effective manner.
December 1st: AFP noted that during his stop in Taipai, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah became the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since 2006. During his trip, Administrator Shah met with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and opened the “American Footsteps in Taiwan”, an exhibition that highlights the friendship between the United States and Taiwan.
December 1st: In recognition of World AIDS Day, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah published a blog in The Huffington Post citing the importance of developing innovative approaches to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS.
Weekly Briefing (11/14/2011 – 11/18/2011)
November 14: CNN’s Security Clearance blog reports that five former U.S. Secretary of States wrote a joint letter to Congress addressing the importance of foreign aid. In the letter, former Secretaries Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, George Schultz and Henry Kissinger write that, “now is not the time for America to retreat from the world.” And that, “this is one area where leaders of both parties can find common ground and come together to ensure a better, safer world and a more prosperous future.”
November 16: The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Alumni magazine published a story on USAID Foreign Service Officer Michael Eddy. Eddy served in South Sudan and worked during the historic referendum and voting process. His service helped promote democracy and governance in the world’s newest country.
Weekly Briefing (10/24/2011 – 10/28/2011)
October 26: USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah was interviewed on Fox 5 News to discuss the launch of the new Public Service Announcements highlighting the FWD Campaign. Advertising Age also wrote an article on the videos that feature Dr. Jill Biden, Uma Thurman, Josh Hartnett, Geena Davis and Chanel Iman.
October 26: The White House Blog reports that during a livestreamed video webchat at the White House, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah joined Senior Director of the NSC Gayle Smith and John Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, to discuss the latest developments in the Horn of Africa and take questions from viewers online.
October 27: Devex reported on USAID’s public-private partnership week and the important role businesses can play in development. In the article, Devex highlighted Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah’s economic growth speech. “I’m talking about helping support the work of markets that can deliver profits and create opportunities for women, minorities and the poor,” Shah said. “In short, we must embrace a new wave of creative, enlightened capitalism.”
Weekly Briefing (10/10/2011 – 10/14/2011)
October 8: Over the weekend, The New York Times published an editorial supporting the budgets for the State Department and foreign aid. “Savings squeezed from the State Department and foreign aid — which together are less than a tenth of the basic Pentagon budget — would be a tiny share of the $3.8 trillion federal budget. Yet the effects would be hugely damaging to American foreign policy.”
October 9: Ethiopia’s Addis Fortune published excerpts of an interview with USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, on his meeting with Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his visit to the region.