MADRE Statements

Take Action: Urge President Obama to Strengthen US Foreign Assistance and Development Aid

Posted on: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keywords: US, Peace Building, Human Rights Advocacy, Development

The following action alert comes from our friends at  International Women's Health Coalition


The International Women's Health Coalition and many other organizations have joined forces with the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) to change the way the United States funds international development. To sign the letter, visit the MFAN website.

Dear Mr. President,

We applaud your strong leadership on reducing poverty and promoting economic growth worldwide, as exemplified by Feed the Future, the Global Health Initiative, and your consistent support for elevating development as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy.

Despite the promise of these new programs and the visionary “New Approach to Advancing Development” for the U.S. that you endorsed at the recent G8 Summit, we do not believe our country can truly empower poor people to realize a more prosperous and secure future if we don’t change the way we do business with respect to foreign assistance and development.  We currently rely on an inefficient, dispersed system that has grown in a disjointed, haphazard manner without any coherent strategy as to how the parts work together to achieve our goals.

It is time to bring our tools for delivering foreign aid into the 21st Century so that we can do more with precious taxpayer dollars to help those in need. Change is needed now, because effective foreign assistance and a smart approach to development have never been more important to the success of U.S. foreign policy.

The efforts of your Administration, Members of Congress across the political spectrum, and committed advocates have put us closer than ever to real reform. But your leadership is critical.  As the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s landmark signing of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 approaches, we urge you to follow through on your pledge to “modernize our foreign assistance” with two important actions:

  • Create America’s first-ever Global Development Strategy.  When you spoke to the United Nations nearly a year ago, you promised to return with a plan to reduce global poverty.  We believe that the U.S. Global Development Strategy should be the key component of that plan, in order to provide our nation with a clear roadmap for U.S. leadership in this vital effort.
  •  Partner with Congress to rewrite the existing, Cold War-era Foreign Assistance Act, a partial draft of which was recently unveiled by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, adding to momentum created by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s bipartisan passage of S.1524 last year.

We believe the American people will strongly support this effort to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective at delivering results for people in the developing world pursuant to our national interests.  We pledge our energy and resolve to help you in these efforts.

Click here to download a PDF of the Politico ad and to see the letter signatories.

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