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Partnering with Russia and Kyrgyzstan to Help Disabled Children

December 8 marked a big “wheels down” party in Bishkek. Three countries—the United States, Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian Federation—provided quality wheelchairs to dozens of disabled children, helping them to be more mobile and independent. The wheelchair project was started by former Kyrgyz President Rosa Otunbayeva at a meeting with the Russian Envoy to the Kyrgyz […]

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Women Peace Builders – Conducting Foreign Policy Differently

It is with enormous pride that I witnessed the release of the first-ever United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. Publication of the plan serves as valuable recognition and acknowledgement of a critical new step in U.S. foreign policy, one that strives to hear, honor and amplify the female voices for peace […]

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Crowd Sourcing Development Innovation in India

India has become synonymous with innovation.  Inexpensive mHealth applications.  The Tata Nano. Low cost eye surgery. These are just a handful of the frugal innovations that India has developed and is now exporting.  With a booming social enterprise sector, a number of the world’s leading academics, Nobel Prize winners and thinkers, a vibrant private sector, […]

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Engaging the World’s Newest Country

I am thrilled to be representing USAID’s Africa Bureau this morning at the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan. The U.S. Government and the Republic of South Sudan are co-hosting this two-day event to support the world’s newest nation as the republic of South Sudan unveils its vision for development and economic growth priorities. We […]

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International Engagement Conference for South Sudan

With much fanfare and well-deserved congratulation, South Sudan became the world’s newest country earlier this year on July 9th.  After following through on the six year Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended a decades-long civil war between the north and south, the people of South Sudan voted to declare their independence.  While the path was […]

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Women Combating Climate Change

Last week I was in Durban, South Africa where I attended the Seventeenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-17). Climate-resilient, low carbon development is sustainable development, so it’s no surprise that many of the issues addressed at COP-17 are crucially important to USAID’s development […]

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From the Field

In Ukraine, we facilitated a meeting between one of Ukraine’s Federal District Court Judge’s Charles Breyer and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft.  This meeting was arranged at the Judge’s request, through the Fair, Accountable, Independent and Responsible Judiciary Program (FAIR).  The purpose of the FAIR Program is to support legislative, regulatory and institutional reform […]

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FWD Campaign and MTV Announce Celebrity Auction for the Horn of Africa

Today, MTV Act, in partnership with USAID and the Ad Council, has launched the “MTV Fights Hunger Auction,” an online holiday auction that features garb from celebrities and favorite MTV stars such as the cast of the Jersey Shore.  All proceeds go to a group of eight NGOs working on the ground in the Horn […]

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For Mi Abuelita: Reflections on Child Marriage as a Form of Gender-Based Violence

Unequal gender norms limit a girl’s ability to make decisions that affect her social, economic, and physical wellbeing.  As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence ends on International Human Rights Day, I’d like to reflect on a form of gender-based violence that is often overlooked: child marriage.  For more than 58 million women […]

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Combating Human Trafficking

As part of USAID’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence we wanted to share with you some information on an issue that the Congressional Women’s Caucus has been working on diligently to end across the globe: human trafficking. According to Department of State estimates, roughly 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each year. If […]

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