Weekly Briefing (10/2/2011 – 10/7/2011)
October 3: Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” blog reports that USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah is traveling to Ethiopia and Kenya this week to visit areas affected by the drought. Administrator Shah will be visiting heads of state and senior leadership, as well as pulling together the humanitarian and NGO communities, to assess progress on the challenges that the drought has brought to the Horn of Africa.
October 3: In a blog posted on ABC News’ website, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah calls on readers to take the Million Moms Challenge, which aims to help mothers and newborns around the world who are at high-risk of complications and death during the first 48-hours of childbirth.
October 4: The Associated Press and Voice of America reports that while visiting Ethiopia this week, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah pledged an additional $127 million in aid on behalf of the American people. The three new aid grants, including a major food security program, will help reach 1.5 million Ethiopians who are suffering from chronic hunger conditions.
October 4: In an op-ed published in The Huffington Post, singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore writes of her work as an Ambassador for PSI, a global health organization that works closely with USAID. Moore writes, “When our country invests in global health, we are doing the right thing. When USAID succeeds, we all benefit. We invest less than 1% of the federal budget in strengthening the health and economic development in other countries, and we get incredible results.”
October 5: The Associated Press reports that countless lives have been saved as a result of interventions to stop famine spreading throughout the Horn of Africa. During his visit to the region, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah explained that nearly 4.5 million people have been able to withstand the drought as a result of inoculating their livestock against diseases. While in the region, Administrator Shah also encouraged the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya to make reforms in their agricultural sectors to boost agricultural growth and food self-sufficiency over time.
Weekly Briefing (9/26/2011 – 9/30/2011)
September 23: Last Friday, Federal News Radio aired a story about USAID’s FWD campaign that seeks to raise awareness about the famine in the Horn of Africa through interactive communications. The Famine, War, and Drought (FWD) campaign aims to build a strong online presence and utilize social media to inform the public about the crisis and raise more awareness.
September 28: Dartmouth College’s student newspaper highlighted the appointment of one of its alums, Mara Rudman, Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau. Rudman was sworn in on Tuesday and will oversee development, diplomacy and defense efforts in order to promote stability in the region and protect the interests of the United States.
Weekly Briefing (9/19/2011 – 9/23/2011)
September 19: The Huffington Post reports that at Mashable’s Social Good Summit, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah launched a new public engagement effort to raise awareness about the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa. Known as the FWD Campaign (Famine, War, Drought), the campaign aims to increase awareness and a call to action in the Horn of Africa
September 20: In an interview with PBS NewsHour, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah discussed the new Horn of Africa public awareness campaign, called FWD. Administrator Shah also provided an update on the crisis in Somalia and the new tools being implemented to track food prices throughout the region. A Reuters journalist also interviewed Administrator Shah, who discussed the use of innovative technology USAID is using to distribute food aid. In Somalia, cell phones have been used to help distribute mobile money for people to safely purchase food.
September 20: An op-ed written by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah was published in The Huffington Post. In it, Administrator Shah discusses the famine in the Horn of Africa introduces the new FWD campaign, asking people to “get informed, get engaged and forward this information on to their friends and families.
September 21: A USA Today article included a story about a USAID-hosted sports and development event that took place during the UN General Assembly. Former NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, who has traveled extensively in Africa, spoke on a panel discussing the importance sports can play in international development. Mutombo was joined by former All-Star pitcher Pedro Martinez and four-time Olympic gold medal speedskater Johann Olav Koss.
September 21: Reuters and The New York Times reports that PepsiCo is partnering with USAID to provide chickpeas to target malnourished children in Ethiopia. PepsiCo unveiled the plan on Wednesday at the Clinton Global Initiative.
Weekly Briefing (8/22/2011 – 8/26/2011)
August 23: In an op-ed published in The Huffington Post, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah highlighted the recent DevelopmentXChange event, which brought together 77 grant finalists to share their innovative ideas to discover the next breakthrough in maternal and infant health. The event was part of Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, a joint partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the Government of Norway, and The World Bank.
August 25: In an interview with The Washington Post, Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, discussed the current drought in the Horn of Africa and America’s comprehensive response to the food crisis. Lindborg emphasized that the U.S. is focusing on three critical needs: providing immediate food assistance, addressing health and sanitation concerns, and helping families purchase food through food vouchers. “When we talk about 12 million people being affected, we understand that behind each one of those individuals is a story,” Lindborg said.
Weekly Briefing (8/1/2011 – 8/5/2011)
August 2 In an interview with PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah stated that the U.S. is easing restrictions to speed the aid to Somalia. “We are working hard to make sure that authorities in Somalia allow access for humanitarian organizations and NGOs and the United States has been supporting those organizations and will continue to support those organizations going forward,” Shah said.
August 4 Appearing on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah discussed the latest developments in Somalia and what can be done to help the region. “The United States…has been aggressive about providing as much support as we possibly can,” Shah said. “We have been about 50 percent of the total global response.” The Administrator also discussed the Famine Early Warning System.
Weekly Briefing (7/23/2011 – 7/29/2011)
July 23 Voice of America reports that recent findings in a HIV/AIDS study found that taking HIV medication orally once a day was highly effective in preventing HIV in heterosexual men and women in Botswana, Kenya, and Uganda. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah noted that the next step in the global effort to combat the disease “is to determine how the teams’ research can be put to use in a real world setting.”
July 28 At the Saving Lives at Birth Development Exchange Forum, innovators gathered from across the world with proposals for new technologies, new service-delivery models, and new ways to stimulate demand for health care services at the time of birth. AllAfrica.com reports that at the event, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah praised the group for their hard work and innovative thinking.
July 29 In an interview with Foreign Policy, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah discussed his recent trip to the Horn of Africa to visit refugees affected by the drought. Administrator Shah explained that the U.S. has been the largest responder, providing nearly $460 million of support and reaching nearly 4.5 million people.
July 29 ABC News reported that about $14 million was awarded to innovations aimed at saving the lives of mothers and children around the world at a landmark event hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. “Saving Lives at Birth,” the first in a series of Grand Challenges for Development led by USAID, brought together doctors, health workers, engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to showcase innovations with the potential to prevent maternal and newborn deaths.
Weekly Briefing (7/11/2011 – 7/15/2011)
July 12 CNN, McClatchy Newspapers, and The Washington Post reported that at a speech to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton cited the importance of foreign aid and how the State Department and USAID are using “commercial diplomacy” to help U.S. companies compete and win in the future. Clinton noted that more than 1,000 economic officers and over 400 locally-employed staff around the world are promoting American business interests and looking for new opportunities for U.S. businesses abroad.
July 13 In an interview with The Huffington Post, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah discussed the current drought and food crisis in the Horn of Africa. Shah stated that the food shortages are putting millions of lives at risk and threatening to further destabilize a troubled region of the world. “It’s so important to be promoting security and stability in these parts of the world, as opposed to be dealing with these devastating and difficult consequences of failure,” Shah stated.
July 14 Foreign Policy’s The Cable blog reports that in a recent interview with Deputy Secretary of State for Management Tom Nides, the State Department and USAID have a national security mandate. “We are helping countries through Feed the Future, Global Health Initiatives, climate change, and economic support funding. We’re doing that because we’re building up these countries to be more self-reliant and have stronger economies. By doing that, that helps our national security,”
Weekly Briefing: 7/4/2011 – 7/8/2011
July 5: New York Times columnist Nick Kristof discussed American aid to Africa and said the Obama administration’s Feed the Future initiative, led by USAID, deserves credit for saving 4 million lives yearly.
July 7: CNN reports that USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg will be part of the official U.S. delegation traveling to Juba on Saturday to attend the ceremonies marking the independence of South Sudan.
July 8: The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that the National Science Foundation (NSF) and USAID are partnering together to support new and existing scientific partnerships between universities and other research institutes around the world. The program will connect American researchers with their colleagues overseas to study natural disasters, water scarcity, and other problems facing developing nations.
July 8: At a special State Department briefing on South Sudan’s upcoming independence, Voice of America reports that USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg stated that the U.S. will host a conference in Washington in September to promote South Sudan as an investment destination. Steinberg also noted that USAID plans to support an open, corruption-free economy in the country
July 8: The Deccan Herald reported that USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah received the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award yesterday. The award is given by the Government of India to recognize the achievements of the Indian Diaspora.
Weekly Briefing (6/27/2011 – 7/1/2011)
June 27 In a recent report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development, Voice of America reported that the U.S. is in the position to lead global efforts on food security. Through the Feed the Future Initiative, led by USAID, a new emphasis is being placed on agricultural development and sustainability, as opposed to food aid alone.
June 27 Voice of America reports that at the recent donor pledging conference for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI, USAID will be donating $450 million over the next three years to help save 4 million lives by 2015. “Our commitment to GAVI will prevent the deaths of millions of children, and will increase global stability and strengthen our national security,” said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah.
June 29 Harvest Public Media reported that at the International Food Aid and Development Conference, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah addressed the group of experts, stating that targeted humanitarian aid is far less costly than dealing with the social instability and riots a lack of food can create. Shah also acknowledged that the Obama Administration’s Feed the Future Initiative will attack hunger with a broad brush—putting money not only into emergency feeding programs, but also into research.
Weekly Briefing (6-20-2011–6-24-2011)
June 21 Voice of America reports that at a ceremony held at the State Department, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah praised the leadership of former Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor and former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva for their work to address hunger and poverty in their countries over the past decade. The two former presidents received the 2011 World Food Prize.
June 22 In an interview with NPR’s “Tell Me More” USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah discusses food shortages, security and prices with host Michel Martin.
June 22 In an op-ed by Congressman Gerry Connolly published in The Hill, Congressman Connolly highlighted the importance of supporting foreign aid and development in today’s globalized economy.
June 23 In an interview with NPR’s “Morning edition” USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah talked about what the troop drawdown in Afghanistan will mean for U.S. assistance in the country.