With the completion of Administrator Shah’s final congressional hearing on the FY 2014 President’s Budget Request for USAID, I want to highlight that this budget reflects the development priorities of this Administration while making difficult tradeoffs due to the constrained budget realities. USAID has prioritized resources to countries and programs where they are most needed, most cost-effective, and can lead to long-term, sustainable results.
A prime example of our commitment to maximize the effectiveness of USAID programs is the President’s Food Aid Reform Proposal. This proposal, if enacted, would give the U.S. Government the ability to feed up to 4 million additional people with comparable resources, through more efficient food assistance. Throughout the President’s budget, we’ve been similarly focused on maximizing results for every dollar spent. The FY 2014 Budget Request enables USAID and its partners around the world to:
- Ensure food security and progress toward ending hunger
- End preventable child death
- Strengthen program effectiveness through USAID Forward
- Build resilience to recurrent crisis and climate change
- Support strategic priorities and promote democratic governance and economic growth
- Provide live-saving responses to areas with the most vulnerable populations
- Continue USAID’s commitment to be more focused and selective about the countries and areas in which we work.
The FY 2014 budget is the result of efforts that began more than a year ago. The budget process requires input from over a hundred State and USAID missions abroad, regional and functional bureaus in Washington, leadership within the Department of State and USAID, as well as the White House Office of Management and Budget. This rigorous process aligns resource planning with strategic priorities including from the U.S. Global Development policy, the State/USAID Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, and 2011-2015 USAID Policy Framework. We work closely with missions and bureaus to integrate rigorous mission-led strategic planning efforts and sectoral strategies including those for Basic Education, Water, and Gender.
This inclusive approach led to a resource request that reflects Administration and USAID priorities, modernizes our development activities, and provides the most cost-effective and sustainable development. The countless hours of work that went into developing the FY 2014 President’s budget by USAID staff around the world demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively.
For those of us who have been working on the FY 2014 budget for some time now, the end of the Administrator’s congressional hearings may feel like the culmination of this process, it is really just the beginning. Moving forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress to enact a budget that supports our national security, promotes our economic interests, and alleviates human suffering.