5 November, 2008 | No comments | Category: nation & ethnicity, peace & conflict
The world has been swept with feelings of joy and there are huge and mounting expectations for Obama. Some of the greatest moments of our lifetime and we’re all looking to see what this incredible individual can bring. Here’s some of what we can look forward to in terms of International Development.
“The security and well-being of each and every American is tied to the security and well-being of those who live beyond our borders, according to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The theme of global interdependence is the bedrock of Obama’s new strategy for America’s engagement in the world, in which global development matters, a lot.
Structuring the U.S. Government to Meet 21st Century Challenges
“To succeed, we must improve our civilian capacity. The finest military in the world is adapting to the challenges of the 21st century. But it cannot counter insurgent and terrorist threats without civilian counterparts who can carry out economic and political reconstruction missions – sometimes in dangerous places. As president, I will strengthen these civilian capacities, recruiting our best and brightest to take on this challenge. I will increase both the numbers and capabilities of our diplomats, development experts, and other civilians who can work alongside our military. We can’t just say there is no military solution to these problems. We need to integrate all aspects of American might.” — Barack Obama, Washington, August 1, 2007
In confronting unprecedented global challenges, a new commitment of resources will not be sufficient. As we have seen from the failure of the Bush administration’s reconstruction efforts in Iraq, assistance is not just money to be thrown at a problem – it is a tool we must use wisely to invest in a more secure and prosperous future.
Barack Obama has called for the creation of a civilian assistance corps, and he will reform the infrastructure that manages U.S. foreign assistance. Today, what we call “foreign aid” is spread across 25 government agencies, programs, and initiatives, with too little of our taxpayers’ resources getting to the problem and no single person within our government responsible for directing and managing what should be one of our most powerful foreign policy tools. Successive administrations have talked the talk of reform, while proliferating
agencies and programs such that American tax dollars are now spent in an uncoordinated and rigid manner at a time when accountable, flexible, and transparent processes are most needed.
Elevate, Streamline and Empower a 21st Century US Development Agency. Barack Obama will lead an effort to modernize our foreign assistance policies, tools, and operations. Obama will coordinate and consolidate PEPFAR, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Middle East Partnership Initiative and many foreign assistance programs currently housed in more than 20 executive agencies into a restructured, empowered and streamlined USAID. He will ensure that this agency has the highest caliber leadership and plays a central role in the formulation and implementation of critical development and related foreign policy strategies. An empowered and elevated agency should be more nimble in the face of change and use tax dollars more responsibly. It is also essential to ensuring that development is established and endures as a key pillar of U.S. foreign policy. Obama will mobilize our civilian agencies to address a new set of global challenges and boost the stature of the government’s long-term development mission to attract the most talented professionals.”
~Invest in global health infrastructure, including creating health care systems that train and retain health care workers; and (last but not least)
~Coordinate and consolidate the twenty-some U.S. agencies currently involved in U.S. foreign assistance (including the Millennium Challenge Account and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) in a restructured and empowered U.S. Agency for International Development.
~Expand prosperity through investments in agriculture, infrastructure and economic growth so the benefits and burdens of globalization are shared equally and economic policy is seen as central to security policy;
~Create an Add Value to Agriculture Initiative to promote a Green Revolution in Africa in addition to other measures to increase poor farmers’ access to agricultural markets;
~Establish a $2 billion Global Education Fund for primary education to help eliminate the “global education deficit”;
~Launch a Global Energy and Environment Initiative, create an Emerging Market Energy Fund, and spur the creation of an open-source, real-time mapping system to forecast the impacts of climate change country-by-county to address climate change and other global environmental challenges;
~Lead efforts to reform the International Monetary Fund and World Bank;
~Develop a rapid response fund for societies in transition;
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