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Helping the world’s poor is a strategic priority and a moral imperative. Economic development, responsible governance, and individual liberty are intimately connected. Past foreign assistance to corrupt and ineffective governments failed to help the populations in greatest need. Instead, it often impeded democratic reform and encouraged corruption. The United States must promote development programs that achieve measurable results – rewarding reforms, encouraging transparency, and improving people’s lives. Led by the United States, the international community has endorsed this approach in the Monterrey Consensus.
The United States has improved the lives of millions of people and transformed the practice of development by adopting more effective policies and programs.
We have increased our overall development assistance spending by 97 percent since 2000. In all of these efforts, the United States has sought concrete measures of success. Funding is a means, not the end. We are giving more money to help the world’s poor, and giving it more effectively.
Many challenges remain, including:
America’s national interests and moral values drive us in the same direction: to assist the world’s poor citizens and least developed nations and help integrate them into the global economy. We have accomplished many of the goals laid out in the 2002 National Security Strategy. Many of the new initiatives we launched in the last 4 years are now fully operating to help the plight of the world’s least fortunate. We will persevere on this path.
Development reinforces diplomacy and defense, reducing long-term threats to our national security by helping to build stable, prosperous, and peaceful societies. Improving the way we use foreign assistance will make it more effective in strengthening responsible governments, responding to suffering, and improving people’s lives.
Transformational diplomacy means working with our many international partners to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their citizens and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system. Long-term development must include encouraging governments to make wise choices and assisting them in implementing those choices. We will encourage and reward good behavior rather than reinforce negative behavior. Ultimately it is the countries themselves that must decide to take the necessary steps toward development, yet we will help advance this process by creating external incentives for governments to reform themselves.
Effective economic development advances our national security by helping promote responsible sovereignty, not permanent dependency. Weak and impoverished states and ungoverned areas are not only a threat to their people and a burden on regional economies, but are also susceptible to exploitation by terrorists, tyrants, and international criminals. We will work to bolster threatened states, provide relief in times of crisis, and build capacity in developing states to increase their progress.
The Administration has created the new position of Director of Foreign Assistance (DFA) in the State Department. The DFA will serve concurrently as Administrator of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a position that will continue to be at the level of Deputy Secretary, and will have, consistent with existing legal requirements, authority over all State Department and USAID foreign assistance. This reorganization will create a more unified and rational structure that will more fully align assistance programs in State and USAID, increase the effectiveness of these programs for recipient countries, and ensure that we are being the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars. And it will focus our foreign assistance on promoting greater ownership and responsibility on the part of host nations and their citizens.
With this new authority, the DFA/Administrator will develop a coordinated foreign assistance strategy, including 5-year, country-specific assistance strategies and annual country-specific assistance operational plans. The DFA/Administrator also will provide guidance for the assistance delivered through other entities of the United States Government, including the MCC and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator.
To ensure the best stewardship of our foreign assistance, the United States will:
Our assistance efforts will also highlight and build on the lessons learned from successful examples of wise development and economic policy choices, such as the ROK, Taiwan, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Chile, and Botswana.
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