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Today, the Trump administration rolled out the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). Pillars one and two seem to suggest a rebranding of existing funding for women’s economic empowerment efforts in USAID and a repackaging of previously announced initiatives at the World Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation. But the third pillar is potentially more encouraging.
In honor of World Humanitarian Day, Jeremy Konyndyk argues that the core humanitarian imperative—that lifesaving aid should be provided to all in need on the basis of their humanity, regardless of beliefs or identities—is increasingly under threat.
With Hurricane Irma now pushing a devastating path through the Caribbean, USAID is gearing up to do what it does best. Its Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) do amazing work—deploying rapidly in the wake of natural hazards like hurricanes and often bringing the logistical might of the US military with them. These teams go in big and fast to save lives, distribute food, set up emergency shelter, and prevent secondary impacts like disease outbreaks. But then things begin to falter.
Our fragile egos notwithstanding, one of the privileges of working at CGD is learning from our mistakes. We dug into some humble pie last week when Megan Rapp, Africa regional team lead for the Development Credit Authority, set the record straight about a USAID-backed credit guarantee.
Are our foreign affairs agencies prepared to mitigate threats to global security and advance US interests? That’s the central question the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) must answer. And although the report is filled (literally, filled) with ideas for small improvements, there’s little in it that (a) identifies the reasons State and USAID are falling demonstrably short of the admirable ambitions outlined in the report, and (b) offers real, and sufficiently grand, solutions for addressing them.
Next week, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will step down after five years of service. Before he goes, I will have a chance to sit down with him and record a CGD podcast reflecting on his lessons learned and aspirations for the agency in the years ahead.