CGD in the News

Republican "Budget Hawks" Zero In on Foreign Aid (Inter Press Service)

January 26, 2011

Inter Press Service mentioned CGD's recent event with USAID Administrator Raj Shah in an article discussing the state of U.S. foreign aid under the new republican leadership.

From the Article:

Critics say that the cuts, spearheaded by Rep. Jim Jordan, along with similar calls to radically chop elements of the international affairs budget, will cripple the administration's tri-legged strategy of Defence, Diplomacy and Development.

The proposed GOP purge "rejects a key principle that military leaders and Presidents of both parties have clearly recognised: Foreign assistance and diplomacy are essential to United States national security," Rep. Howard Berman, ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday.

In his statement, Berman also referenced similar assertions made previously by Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, which expressed the intimate links between the maintenance of national security and civilian agencies that conduct foreign assistance and diplomacy.

"For the nation's diplomatic and development initiatives… large cuts could be devastating," wrote political pundit Conor Williams in an article late last month. "More important, wholesale cuts to the international affairs budget could cost the United States massively in lost political and economic opportunities."

In a policy speech at the Centre for Global Development (CGD) last Wednesday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah argued that his agency was worth the nation's investment. He highlighted organisational efforts to streamline, focus more on results-oriented aid and be more cost-effective, announcing the launch of a new evaluation programme that will measure aid effectiveness.

"We need to understand that unlike other industries, unlike an enterprise, we have no interest in our own growth and our own perpetuity," Shah also said, drawing attention to U.S.A.I.D.'s goal of graduating countries from U.S. assistance, which translates into reductions in aid spending.

Read the Article.