Launched in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis, Feed the Future is the Administration’s flagship initiative for addressing global hunger, food security, and agricultural livelihoods. Along with Power Africa, the Initiative looks to be a key component of President Obama’s development legacy. This latest report provides a glimpse into what this $1 billion a year effort has achieved over the last five years. Even with this new report in hand, there are still more questions than answers.
CGD Policy Blogs
A New York Times piece alleging a “sputtering” Power Africa in advance of President Obama’s trip to Kenya and Ethiopia took us by surprise. To those of us who have been avidly following Power Africa and the continent’s long march toward universal electrification, it’s far too early to draw such negative conclusions on the initiative’s success—much less its future impact. Instead, the early signs are actually quite positive.
The Financing Development for Development Conference is well under way, and this week's podcast comes to you direct from Addis to give you an update on the negotiations. Owen Barder, who has been in on the conversations, tells you what's being discussed and the likelihood of meaningful results being reached.
What does the 2016 election mean for America’s future position in the world? It’s likely too early to tell at this stage of the campaign cycle. Many of the early Republican contenders — such as Jeb Bush and Scott Walker — have been relatively quiet on foreign policy issues or have focused almost exclusively on Iran, Israel, and Russia. That’s to be expected at this point. Yet, other candidates — like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham — are already outlining a more comprehensive vision for advancing American interests.
Last night, the State Department released the latest batch of emails from Hillary Clinton's personal account related to her work as Secretary of State. The bad news: the content appears to reflect limited interest in international development. The good news is that the emails do suggest an early and high level interest in getting USAID to deliver better through improved contracting.
In Washington, rumor has it that the United States will bring commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data to the table at the Financing for Development Conference this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As we get down to the wire, our fingers are crossed that the US government will take this opportunity to be ambitious and offer robust packages in both these areas. Here’s what that could look like.
USAID got one step closer to having a new administrator with Gayle Smith’s successful hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday.
The House’s FY16 SFOPS spending bill didn’t respond to the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s request for substantially more funding this year. (The legislation maintains the agency’s FY15 level of $900 million.) But I was happy to see clear evidence of the House’s desire to better track the economic rationale behind MCC’s programs in the accompanying explanatory language.
Congress apparently isn’t getting the data it wants from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC. That makes two of us. The House Appropriations Committee is now calling for OPIC to provide reporting on the volume and destination of all new loans, guarantees, and insurance transactions.
Congress has not exactly had an impressive track record on confirmations for the past few years. So when Raj Shah stepped down as USAID Administrator in December 2014, many at CGD and elsewhere bemoaned the possibility of an empty top slot at the agency for the remainder of the administration. But President Obama and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proved the cynics wrong by quickly appointing National Security Council Senior Director Gayle Smith and scheduling a nomination hearing this Wednesday, respectively.