“The issues that we face today- from chronic poverty and hunger to violent acts of terrorism- require that we work seamlessly toward identifiable goals.” Senator Richard Lugar opened with a strong statement on the importance of aid reform yesterday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that I attended called The Case for Reform: Foreign Aid and Development in a New Era.
The Swedish and Dutch governments announced today that they will suspend $33 million in aid to Zambia following reports about embezzlement in the Ministry of Health. Reports indicate the civil society was calling for the Ministry of Health to publish expenditures, but former President Mwanawasa cancelled the spending reports, which may have led some officials to siphon funds for their own use.
Today in her opening statement before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations, Secretary Clinton made clear once again the critical need for overseas development assistance for our economic and national security.
Howard Berman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Mark Kirk (R-IL) have introduced a bi-partisan bill requiring the President to draft and implement a comprehensive National Strategy for Global Development. The Strategy requirement is one part of H.R. 2139 – Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 – legislation that also strengthens monitoring and evaluation of US foreign aid programs and mandates greater transparency of aid resources provided by the United States.