The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 31, 2007

Fact Sheet: Commitment to International Development

Today, President Bush spoke about the Administration’s commitment to international development. The President discussed expanded education for the world’s poorest children and Africa Financial Sector Initiative, and called on Congress to fully fund his foreign assistance budget request in FY2008. 

Expanding education and developing the private sector are two essential long-term investments that can help break the cycle of poverty in the word’s poorest countries.

President Announces Expanded Education for the World’s Poorest Children

Today, President Bush committed to expand assistance for education in the world’s poorest countries.  The U.S. will establish a new after-school skills development program, Communities of Opportunity, for young girls and boys.  The U.S. will also expand support for other new basic education activities to ensure that children have access to quality schooling.  Additional U.S. funding will total $525 million over five years.

A Transformational Approach To Education

The approach will build upon the Administration’s existing efforts by:

The Africa Financial Sector Initiative Strengthens And Mobilizes Funding And Markets

To strengthen and deepen African capital markets, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will support the creation of several new private equity funds that may mobilize up to $800 million of additional investment in Africa.  This investment will address critical gaps in the sources of financing available to African businesses.  The financial community submitted 25 proposals to OPIC for consideration pursuant to its recently completed Africa Capital Markets Call for Proposals.  By September 2007, OPIC will select funds to support based on its assessment of developmental impact and potential for success.  These dedicated funds will:

In addition, on June 6, OPIC will issue an innovative call for proposals seeking private equity funds to provide capital to businesses serving important social needs in Africa and contributing to the grass roots development of its private sector.  These dedicated funds will:

To date, OPIC has supported four Sub-Saharan Africa investment funds that will mobilize roughly $1.9 billion in private investment over time. 

AFSI technical assistance will help to improve financial sector climates with the goal of facilitating increased domestic and international investment.  Activities will:

Keeping Pledges On Development

At the Monterrey U.N. Conference for Financing for Development in 2002, the President proposed a 50-percent increase in our core official development assistance over the next three budget years.  Starting from a base of $10.0 billion in 2000, the United States surpassed its Monterrey commitment in 2003 when official development assistance levels increased to $16.3 billion. 

The 2006 preliminary estimate from the OECD Development Assistance Committee of $22.7 billion in official development assistance is the second highest annual expenditure ever provided by any donor country after the U.S. level of $27.6 billion in 2005. Preliminary 2006 ODA statistics on bilateral U.S. aid show:

At the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005, President Bush announced that the United States would double assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2010 to $8.67 billion. The United States is on track to meet that goal with a preliminary estimate of $6.5 billion of bilateral and multilateral assistance in 2006.

In 2002, the President announced the Millennium Challenge Account, devoted to projects in nations that govern justly, invest in their people and encourage economic freedom.   Since then, the MCA has put this pledge into practice signing compacts and threshold programs worth over $3 billion.

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